Discuss with regards to differences between face recognition and recognition of other objects

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Question for Cognitive Psychology

Essay Question:Is face recognition special? Discuss with regards to differences between face recognition and recognition of other objects

Guidelines for students:The core lectures for this essay will take place in weeks 2 and 3.

The essay will be due in term 1 one week after your tutorial. Your exact submission date during that week will depend on the schedule of your tutorial group – please check this carefully.

Essential readings to be completed before the tutorial:

Braisby, N. &Gellatly, A. (2012). Cognitive Psychology – Chapter 4 (face recognition) (on learn.gold – follow link)

Additional readings for the essay:

Eysnck, M. W. & Keane, M.T. (2015). Cognitive Psychology: A student’s Handbook (7th edition). Psychology Press, Hove  (on learn.gold)

Other readings: You are strongly encouraged to consult further resources before starting to write your essay. The text book chapters provide you with a good overview, but you are expected to consult the relevant references that are cited where applicable.  In addition, you are expected to run literature searches on PsycInfo to identify more relevant journal articles and publications.

Points to consider when preparing your essay:

Object recognition is one of the most important cognitive functions, and the mental processes involved in recognising simple objects are immensely complex.  As social beings, it is essential for us to recognize other people, and this essay should focus on the cognitive processes that are involved in this task.  Identifying an individual person (i.e. your mum) requires different cognitive mechanisms than simply recognizing a table. Some have argued that face recognition is a unique cognitive process that is very distinct from our ability to recognize other objects.  In this essay you are asked to evaluate this idea.  Please keep in mind the content from lecture 1 which highlights that most questions in cognitive psychology cannot be answered using a single method, and therefore rely on a multi-methods approach.  When evaluating your evidence try to think about the advantages and disadvantages of each of these approaches.

Notes for BSc stream students: This essay question allows you to use a broad range of methodological approaches to answer a central question in cognitive psychology.  Students in the different streams can focus their answers on methodologies and themes more closely related to their stream.  Students on the Clinical streamcanemphasise neuropsychological evidence, whilst those on the Neuroscience stream can emphasize neuroscientific evidence.  Students on the Forensic and Management streams can emphasis some for the practical implications (e.g. eye witness testimonies).

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