Facial Recall: Feature–Conjunction Effects in Source Retrieval Versus Item Recognition

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Within memory processing, feature and conjunction effects refer to higher false alarms (incorrectly naming items as previously seen) for stimuli with partial/all features taken from different previously studied versus novel items. In this study, we compared feature–conjunction effects in the memory tasks of both item recognition and source retrieval, using faces as stimuli. We found greater feature–conjunction effects on source retrieval versus item recognition tasks, though participants gave slower responses on source retrieval versus item recognition. Thus, our data were consistent with dual-process memory theory in which familiarity contributes to high false alarms in compound faces even while feature–conjunction effects enhance recollection in source retrieval.

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