Differential interactions between identity and emotional expression in own and other-race faces: effects of familiarity revealed through redundancy gains

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  • University of Oxford


We examined relations between the processing of facial identity and emotion in own- and other-race faces, using a fully crossed design with participants from 3 different ethnicities. The benefits of redundant identity and emotion signals were evaluated and formally tested in relation to models of independent and coactive feature processing and measures of processing capacity for the different types of stimuli. There was evidence for coactive processing of identity and emotion that was linked to super capacity for own-race but not for other-race faces. In addition, the size of the redundancy gain for other-race faces varied with the amount of social contact participants had with individuals from the other race. The data demonstrate qualitative differences in the processing of facial identity and emotion cues in own and other races. The results also demonstrate that the level of integration of identity and emotion cues in faces may be determined by life experience and exposure to individuals of different ethnicities.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1025-1038
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition
Issue number4
Early online date7 Apr 2014
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2014


  • African Continental Ancestry Group, Analysis of Variance, Asian Continental Ancestry Group, Emotions, European Continental Ancestry Group, Face, Facial Expression, Female, Humans, Male, Pattern Recognition, Visual, Photic Stimulation, Probability, Reaction Time, Social Perception, Students, Surveys and Questionnaires, Universities, Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't