Type of paper: Report

Topic: Recognition, Face, People, Study, Education, Face Recognition, Learning, Information

Pages: 4

Words: 1100

Published: 2020/12/03

Memory and cognition are two important parts of the mind that have a huge impact on our abilities to function. Cognition includes a person’s mental abilities such as thinking, learning, and remembering. This plays a role in how well people can concentrate, and impacts their organizational and judgmental skills. If a person does not have good cognitive health, it is likely that they will face difficulties with these activities. They can have troubles with things such as thinking and solving problems. Memory is the storage and processes that are used in the storage and retrieval of information (McLeod, 2007). This is necessary for learning, and even if we were able to learn something, it would be useless if it was forgotten right away.

When a person is not cognitively healthy, they may have problems with memory.

Memory, as well as learning disabilities, can be neurologically based and organic, and the risk of having a disability increases if a child’s parents or other people in their family have a problem. This indicates that parents with problems should pay extra attention to their children. If something seems to be strange or the child appears stressed or confused when studying, parents should take them to be evaluated as soon as possible
People are often unable to remember the name of a person, even if they know recognize that person’s face. The word for this in Scottish is tartling; when someone tartles, they hesitate or are unable to retrieve the name of a person, thing, or place that should be familiar to them (Cleary & Specker, 2007). Tartling is mentioned very frequently in recognition memory literature (Cleary & Specker, 2007). In the United States when people can almost think of a word, but are not able to, it is stated as being at the “tip of their tongue” (TOT).
List learning paradigms are used with subjects in many recognition memory studies; these subjects are told to study lists of items that they will be tested on later. Discriminating between the faces that they did and did not study is a way could be related to memory. Participants could recognize faces they studied because they remembered that it was on the list, or they recognize something because they are familiar with the thing itself; the first method is recollection-based recognition and the second is familiarity-based recognition (Cleary & Specker, 2007).
Although tartling can be complicated and confusing, there are modals and explanations set up to help us understand it better. For example, the interactive activation and competition (IAC) model explains real-life experiences of tartling in face recognition and has units that are used in face recognition (Cleary & Specker, 2007). These include face recognition units (FRUs, person identification nodes (PINs), semantic information units (SIUs) containing general semantic information about a person, and lexical output (Cleary & Specker, 2007).
When we use our memory, there are many different things we need it for, and many types of information that need to be retrieved. According to the interactive activation and competition model, different types of memory become available at different times and when it comes to face recognition, face familiarity is the earliest stage (Cleary & Specker, 2007). This is very important because if we did remember a person’s name, this would be useless if we did not recognize the face that went with it. At the semantic level, there are broader, more general kinds information, such as where they are from and whether or they have children, that may come to mind when thinking about a person (Cleary & Specker, 2007). The dual-process recognition memory theories state that rather than using many levels, there are two levels of recognition (Clearly & Specker, 2007).
It is believed that people have the ability to tell the difference between recent and non-recent items, regardless if they can’t be identified, which is the recognition without identification (RWI) effect, and could demonstrate familiarity-based recognition (Cleary & Specker, 2007). With RWI, if people see groups or lists of things and later are presented groups with containing these and additional items, they will be able to correctly pick the ones that were on the list. Studies have been performed in which participants were asked to rate whether or not they saw a fragment of a word on a list and as expected, the unidentified items that were studied received higher ratings (Cleary & Specker, 2007). As expected with RWI, recognition of the word fragments appeared to demonstrate familiarity-based recognition.
Clearly and Specker (2007) performed an experiment to decide if the RWI effect could have an effect on lists of faces, rather than words and if so, this could associate face-to-face recognition literature with recognition memory literature. While only lists have been used in most experiments in the past, it was of interest for subjects to study lists of celebrity names before a test list of a bitmap images of faces was displayed; half were presented during the study, half were not (Clearly and Specker, 2007).
The results of both of the experiments performed support their theory, as subjects were able to recognize a higher number of people whose names they studied than of people whose names they had not studied (Clearly and Specker, 2007). The first experiment showed that the subjects were able to identify faces as corresponding to names that were shown on the list, even when they could not actually retrieve the names themselves. The results of the second experiment showed that this skill to recognize unidentifiable celebrity faces only happened when subjects were almost able to think of the name, but were not able to do it.
The results of the study performed by Clearly and Specker shows that recognition-without-face-identification effect does not happen because of the “tip-of-the-tongue” problem, so it must be explained by something else (2007).
Rather than using recognition-without-face-identification, perhaps one thing that could be used is the interactive activation and competition model in future experiments.
People also need to remember that when studies such as this are performed on memory and/or cognition, it is important to test every subject thoroughly before the experiment to ensure that every one is mentally capable. For example, there are some people who would not be able to work well with these lists, such as those with disorders like dyscalculia, in which people have problems with numbers and math. Although math may be a subject that many people think is one, if not the most, difficult, those with dyscalculia have an extra disadvantage. Their understanding of math symbols, ability to memorize and organize numbers, tell time, or count is negatively affected by this disability (Learning Disabilities Association of America, 2014). Being able to memorize and organize the names and faces on lists could be quite difficult for this participants, even if they do recall them.
This study shows that there is a possible link between recognition memory and face recognition literatures, which helps us better understand the concept of tartling (Clearly & Specker, 2007). Because there is so much involved in the memory and cognition processes, there is still much more that needs to be done to clarify this. However, these experiments are a good step forward in the future of understanding the notions of tartling and tip-of-the-tongue problems.


McLeod, S. (2007). Stages of memory – Encoding storage and retrieval. Simply Psychology.
Retrieved from: http://www.simplypsychology.org/memory.html
Cleary, A., & Specker, L. (2007). Recognition without face identification. Memory & Cognition.,
33 (7), 1610-1619. Retrieved from:
Learning Disabilities Association of America. (2014). New to LD. Retrieved from

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