Data for: Independent contribution of perceptual experience and social cognition to face recognition.
Faces convey rich perceptual and social information. The contribution of perceptual and social information to face recognition has been typically examined in separate experiments. Here we take a comprehensive approach by studying the contribution of both perceptual experience and social-conceptual information to face learning within the same experimental design. The effect of perceptual experience was examined by systematically varying the similarity between the learned and test face views. Social information was manipulated by making social, perceptual or no evaluations on faces during learning. Recognition was tested on face images that were identical or different from the learned face views. Results show better recognition for the learned views that declines as a function of the dissimilarly between the learned and unlearned views. Additionally, processing faces as social concepts produced a general gain in performance of a similar magnitude for both learned and unlearned views. We conclude that both social-conceptual and perceptual information contribute to face recognition, but through complementary, independent mechanisms. These findings highlight the importance of considering both cognition and perception to obtain comprehensive understating of face recognition.