Eye-Movement-Based Memory Effect: A Reprocessing Effect in Face Perception

Robert R. Althoff, Neal J. Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


An eye-movement-based memory effect was demonstrated in 2 experiments showing different patterns of eye movements elicited to famous versus nonfamous faces, across a range of different processing tasks. The effects of prior exposure emerged early in viewing, within the first 5 fixations, and were observed on multiple measures of eye-movement behavior, reflecting a change in viewers' sampling behavior to the famous faces. Accordingly, the eye-movement-based memory effect can be seen as a change in the nature of processing of novel versus repeated items, with implications for other effects of prior exposure such as those seen in examples of repetition priming. The authors argue that the eye-movement-based memory effect is an obligatory consequence of previous exposure - a reprocessing effect caused by re-engaging the visual pattern analyzers and face processing machinery of the brain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)997-1010
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Learning Memory and Cognition
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language


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