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Appears in Collections:Psychology Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Atypical unfamiliar face processing in Williams syndrome: What can it tell us about typical familiarity effects?
Authors: Riby, Deborah
Doherty-Sneddon, Gwyneth
Bruce, Vicki
Keywords: Face processing
Williams syndrome
Issue Date: Jan-2008
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Citation: Riby D, Doherty-Sneddon G & Bruce V (2008) Atypical unfamiliar face processing in Williams syndrome: What can it tell us about typical familiarity effects?, Cognitive Neuropsychiatry, 13 (1), pp. 47-58.
Abstract: Familiar and unfamiliar face perception is typically dissociated by the relative use of internal and external face features. The Williams syndrome (WS) social phenotype emphasises hyper-sociability, with an interest in interacting with people irrespective of familiarity. The aim is to explore whether unfamiliar face processing is characterised by the typical dissociation between internal and external features in WS, or whether the social stimulus drive towards strangers is linked to atypicalities of unfamiliar face processing. Method: The procedure replicates that previously used with typically developing children. Participants with WS (aged 10-18 years) and typically developing comparison participants determine whether two face parts are from the same person or different people, using the whole face, internal and external features. Results: Only participants with WS, and not typically developing participants, show greater accuracy matching unfamiliar faces from internal than external features. Conclusions: Evidence of atypical unfamiliar face processing in WS may inform models of typical face perception, revealing the origins of the relative advantage for internal features typically associated with familiar but not unfamiliar faces. The results also have implications for understanding more clearly the social phenotype associated with WS.
Type: Journal Article
DOI Link:
Rights: Published in Cognitive Neuropsychiatry by Taylor & Francis
Affiliation: Psychology
University of Edinburgh

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