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Durham University

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Publication details for Dr Holger Wiese

Wiese, H., Komes, J. & Schweinberger, S.R. (2013). Ageing faces in ageing minds: A review on the own-age bias in face recognition. Visual Cognition 21(9-10): 1337-1363.

Author(s) from Durham


Similar to the well-established own-race bias, participants are more accurate at remembering own- relative to other-age faces. An own-age bias (OAB) in face memory was demonstrated in participants older than approximately 5 years. Crucially, the OAB is modulated by contact—participants with substantial contact with other-age persons show either reduced or absent OAB effects. In line with a perceptual expertise account of the phenomenon, holistic processing of other-age faces is less efficient when tested with young adult versus child faces, and differential holistic processing may therefore reflect one mechanism contributing to the OAB. A possible additional contribution of sociocognitive factors to the OAB remains largely untested. Importantly, event-related brain potential studies suggest that the own-race and own-age biases are based on at least partly different mechanisms. Theoretical explanations for different group-based biases in face memory will need to consider these findings.