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Oxytocin Increases Bias, but not Accuracy, in Face Recognition Line-Ups

Bate, Sarah, Bennetts, Rachel, Parris, Benjamin, Bindemann, Markus, Udale, Robert (2015) Oxytocin Increases Bias, but not Accuracy, in Face Recognition Line-Ups. Social, Cognitive, and Affective Neuroscience, 10 (7). pp. 1010-1014. ISSN 1749-5016. (doi:10.1093/scan/nsu150) (KAR id:45721)

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Previous work indicates that intranasal inhalation of oxytocin improves face recognition skills, raising the possibility that it may be used in security settings. However, it is unclear whether oxytocin directly acts upon the core face-processing system itself, or indirectly improves face recognition via affective or social salience mechanisms. In a double-blind procedure, 60 participants received either an oxytocin or placebo nasal spray before completing the One-in-Ten task – a standardized test of unfamiliar face recognition containing target-present and target-absent line-ups. Participants in the oxytocin condition outperformed those in the placebo condition on target-present trials, yet were more likely to make false-positive errors on target-absent trials. Signal detection analyses indicated that oxytocin induced a more liberal response bias, rather than increasing accuracy per se. These findings support a social salience account of the effects of oxytocin on face recognition, and indicate that oxytocin may impede face recognition in certain scenarios.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1093/scan/nsu150
Uncontrolled keywords: oxytocin, face recognition, social salience, eyewitness
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Psychology > Cognitive Psychology
Depositing User: Markus Bindemann
Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2014 10:59 UTC
Last Modified: 06 May 2020 03:11 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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