2004-01-01Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.1080/02724980343000503
I recognize your face, but I can’t remember your name: A question of expertise?
Klinik für Augenheilkunde
In four experiments on the identification of familiar faces we reassessed a robust performance pattern—namely, the temporal advantage for retrieving biographical facts as compared to recalling proper names, which has been interpreted as reflecting a serial ordering of the access to semantic and name information. Evidence for recent parallel accounts had been provided by Scanlan and Johnston (1997) who reported an advantage for name retrieval in children. Here we replicated the findings of Scanlan and Johnston but also showed that the naming advantage disappears, and performance is very similar to that of adults when stimuli and tasks are used that are familiar to children. Conversely, we also demonstrated an advantage for name retrieval in adults when highly unfamiliar semantic facts were associated with the faces. Together these findings suggest that there is no fundamental difference in the cognitive architectures of children and adults. The experiments indicate that the relative speed of naming and semantic fact retrieval depends on the expertise with the semantic facts to be retrieved. Implications for models of face identification and naming are discussed.