Recognizing Dynamic Faces in Malaysian Chinese Participants

Chrystalle B Y Tan*, Elizabeth Sheppard, Ian D. Stephen

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    3 Citations (Scopus)


    High performance level in face recognition studies does not seem to be replicable in real-life situations possibly because of the artificial nature of laboratory studies. Recognizing faces in natural social situations may be a more challenging task, as it involves constant examination of dynamic facial motions that may alter facial structure vital to the recognition of unfamiliar faces. Because of the incongruences of recognition performance, the current study developed stimuli that closely represent natural social situations to yield results that more accurately reflect observers’ performance in real-life settings. Naturalistic stimuli of African, East Asian, and Western Caucasian actors introducing themselves were presented to investigate Malaysian Chinese participants’ recognition sensitivity and looking strategies when performing a face recognition task. When perceiving dynamic facial stimuli, participants fixated most on the nose, followed by the mouth then the eyes. Focusing on the nose may have enabled participants to gain a more holistic view of actors’ facial and head movements, which proved to be beneficial in recognizing identities. Participants recognized all three races of faces equally well. The current results, which differed from a previous static face recognition study, may be a more accurate reflection of observers’ recognition abilities and looking strategies.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)300-314
    Number of pages15
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2016


    • Malaysian Chinese
    • dynamic stimuli
    • eye movement
    • face recognition
    • naturalistic stimuli


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