Role of color in face recognition

Unknown author (2001-12-13)

One of the key challenges in face perception lies in determining the contribution of different cues to face identification. In this study, we focus on the role of color cues. Although color appears to be a salient attribute of faces, past research has suggested that it confers little recognition advantage for identifying people. Here we report experimental results suggesting that color cues do play a role in face recognition and their contribution becomes evident when shape cues are degraded. Under such conditions, recognition performance with color images is significantly better than that with grayscale images. Our experimental results also indicate that the contribution of color may lie not so much in providing diagnostic cues to identity as in aiding low-level image-analysis processes such as segmentation.