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Poster E115

Exploring the Dynamics of Eye Movement: How Fixations Affec Facial Recognition in Younger and Older Adults

Poster Session E - Monday, April 15, 2024, 2:30 – 4:30 pm EDT, Sheraton Hall ABC

Eric Cui1,2, Farhan Vaheed3h, Matthew Clark3, Björn Herrmann1,2, Allison Sekuler1,2,3; 1Rotman Research Institute, Baycrest Academy for Research and Education, North, ON, Canada, 2Department of Psychology, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada, 3Department of Psychology, Neuroscience, and Behavioural Neuroscience, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada

Information about different facial features is distributed across various regions of the face. The eye region is especially informative for identity perception, but preferences vary among individuals, with some focusing on the eyes and others on the nose. Notably, fixation patterns differ between age groups: older adults tend to focus more on the lower half of the face, while younger adults show enhanced identity perception when their fixation is restricted to the eyes. This study investigates where younger and older adults look on faces and whether focusing on specific facial regions improves face recognition performance. The study aims to compare the fixation locations of younger and older observers and examine how restricted fixation location interacts with age. In each trial, participants were first shown a fixation square, followed by a target face and a face selection task. The off-face condition started with a fixation square outside the anticipated face display area, while the on-face condition began with a square on the forehead, eye, nose, or mouth. The preliminary analysis included 20 younger and 20 older adults, revealing age-related differences in both conditions. Restricting fixation location appears to mitigate these age-related differences, with older adults showing improved performance, especially at the eye and nose locations. Interestingly, an age-related difference emerged at the nose location, where older adults benefited more from nose fixation than younger adults. Overall, both age groups exhibited better face perception performance when initial fixation was directed to the eye and nose regions.

Topic Area: PERCEPTION & ACTION: Development & aging


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April 13–16  |  2024