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Mem Cognit. 1991 May;19(3):221-8.

Fortysomething: recognizing faces at one's 25th reunion.

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McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.


Twenty-four to 26 years after their high school graduation, subjects matched 40 photographs of former classmates taken from the high school yearbook with 40 current photographs of these same former classmates. Compared with age-matched control subjects who had no prior familiarity with the persons depicted in the photographs, the former classmates were superior at matching the old and new photographs. Generally, same-orientation photographs (i.e., old and new photographs taken from the same side) were matched more accurately than different-orientation photographs. Prior familiarity, however, rendered the orientation factor unimportant. These findings are discussed in terms of the processes that underlie facial recognition over very long intervals and in terms of their psycholegal implications.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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