Eye remember what happened: Eye-closure improves recall of events but not face recognition

A. Vredeveldt, C.G. Tredoux, K. Kempen, A. Nortje

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Eye-closure improves event recall. We investigated whether eye-closure can also facilitate subsequent performance on lineup identification (Experiment 1) and face recognition tasks (Experiment 2). In Experiment 1, participants viewed a theft, recalled the event with eyes open or closed, mentally rehearsed the perpetrator's face with eyes open or closed, and viewed a target-present or target-absent lineup. Eye-closure improved event recall, but did not significantly affect lineup identification accuracy. Experiment 2 employed a face recognition paradigm with high statistical power to permit detection of potentially small effects. Participants viewed 20 faces and were later asked to recognize the faces. Thirty seconds before the recognition task, participants either completed an unrelated distracter task (control condition), or were instructed to think about the face with their eyes open (rehearsal condition) or closed (eye-closure condition). We found no differences between conditions in discrimination accuracy or response criterion. Potential explanations and practical implications are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-180
JournalApplied Cognitive Psychology
Issue number29/2
Early online date7 Jan 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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