This overview shows the average time it took Museum visitors to select faces, regardless of accuracy. The vertical axis shows the average number of seconds. Lower times show visitors who were faster at selecting faces. Are you better at recognizing familiar or unfamiliar face shapes? The graph shows the results of 150 Museum visitors.
A memory for faces
When you look at a face, your brain analyzes the shape of the face and the pattern of the eyes, nose, and mouth. Remembering a face is easier if the face shape is one that is common in your social group.
At face value
Facial shape recognition is based on the people in our familiar social group, which can depend on where we live. Race, ethnicity, age, and gender can also affect our ability to recognize faces of individuals.