Effect of symmetry on recognition of unfamiliar faces

Yıldırım, Gülsen
In the literature, there exist several studies on recognition memory performance for faces and related facial characteristics such as distinctiveness, typicality, attractiveness. In our study, we examined the relationship between symmetry and human face recognition for the first time. In order to have symmetry as the only manipulated factor in our stimuli, we constructed a unique face database, METUFaceTwo, which contains standardized symmetric and asymmetric face images without facial textures. In our study, we assumed that faces and related features such as symmetry are perceived holistically, and defined facial symmetry with two different measures: entropy calculations and perceived symmetry values. Our fundamental finding is that symmetry increases recognition performance. This increase seems to be due to the additional study time or additional effort spent for symmetric face images during the recall period rather than the encoding period. More studies need to be performed in order to isolate the causes of this surprising finding.
Citation Formats
G. Yıldırım, “Effect of symmetry on recognition of unfamiliar faces,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2010.