The role of skin colour in face recognition

Yair Bar-Haim*, Talia Saidel, Galit Yovel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


People have better memory for faces from their own racial group than for faces from other races. It has been suggested that this own-race recognition advantage depends on an initial categorisation of faces into own and other race based on racial markers, resulting in poorer encoding of individual variations in other-race faces. Here, we used a study - test recognition task with stimuli in which the skin colour of African and Caucasian faces was manipulated to pro- duce four categories representing the cross-section between skin colour and facial features. We show that, despite the notion that skin colour plays a major role in categorising faces into own and other-race faces, its effect on face recognition is minor relative to differences across races in facial features.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-148
Number of pages4
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2009


Dive into the research topics of 'The role of skin colour in face recognition'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this