Previous research has shown that working memory (WM) performance for own-race faces is better than for other-race faces. We focused on the storage capacity and encoding rate to identify WM characteristics that facilitate own-race face recognition. We investigated WM's temporal dynamics for own- and other-race faces to separately identify the contribution of storage capacity and encoding rate on the own-race advantage in WM. We presented Asian participants with Asian faces as own-race faces and Black faces as other-race faces in two experiments. Experiments 1 and 2 indicated a higher storage capacity for own-race faces, and Experiment 2 also indicated an increased encoding rate for own-race faces when backward masking was used. Moreover, there was no association between storage capacity and encoding rate. These findings suggest that both storage capacity and encoding rate independently contribute to the cross-race effect in WM.
ASJC Scopus subject areas