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dc.contributor.authorMcCrackin, Sarah D.
dc.contributor.authorLee, Christopher M.
dc.contributor.authorItier, Roxane J.
dc.contributor.authorFernandes, Myra A. 18:45:23 (GMT) 18:45:23 (GMT)
dc.descriptionThis is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in Psychonomic Bulletin & Review. The final authenticated version is available online at:
dc.description.abstractSelf-relevant stimuli (i.e. meaningful/important to the observer and related to the self) are typically remembered better than other-relevant stimuli. However, whether a self-relevance memory benefit could be conferred to a novel neutral face, remains to be seen. Recent studies have shown that emotional responses to neutral faces can be altered by using a preceding sentence as context that varies in terms of self-relevance (self/other-relevant) and valence (positive/negative; e.g. "S/he thinks your comment is dumb/smart"). We adapted this paradigm to investigate whether the context conferred by the preceding sentence also impacts memorability of the subsequently presented face. Participants saw faces primed with contextual sentences and rated how aroused, and how positive or negative, the faces made them feel. Later incidental recognition accuracy for the faces was greater when these had been preceded by self-relevant compared to other-relevant sentences. Faces preceded by self-relevant contexts were also rated as more arousing. There was no impact of sentence valence on arousal ratings or on recognition memory for faces. Sentence self-relevance and valence interacted to affect participants’ ratings of how positive or negative the faces made them feel during encoding, but did not interact to impact later recognition. Our results indicate that initial social encounters can have a lasting effect on one’s memory of another person, producing an enhanced memory trace of that individual. We propose that the effect is driven by an arousal-based mechanism, elicited by faces perceived to be self-relevant.en
dc.description.sponsorshipThis work was supported by grants from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC Discovery Grant #418431 to author RJI and #05605 to author MAF), as well as the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI, #213322) and the Canada Research Chair (CRC, #213322 and #230407) program to RJI. SDM was supported by a Queen Elizabeth II Graduate Scholarship for Science and Technology (QEII-GSST).en
dc.relation.ispartofseriesPsychonomic Bulletin & Review;
dc.subjectface recognitionen
dc.subjectface memoryen
dc.titleMeaningful faces: Self-relevance of semantic context in an initial social encounter improves later face recognitionen
dcterms.bibliographicCitationMcCrackin, S.D., Lee, C.M., Itier, R.J. et al. Meaningful faces: Self-relevance of semantic context in an initial social encounter improves later face recognition. Psychon Bull Rev 28, 283–291 (2021).
uws.contributor.affiliation1Faculty of Artsen

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