Famous people recognition through personal name: a normative study

C. Piccininni, D. Quaranta, C. Papagno, L. Trojano, A. Ferrara, S. Luzzi, G.A. Carlesimo, C. Marra, G. Gainotti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this normative study, we investigated famous people recognition through personal name, using as stimuli the names of the same 40 Italian famous persons whose faces and voices had been utilized for the normative study of the Famous People Recognition Battery. For each famous people, we assessed name familiarity, person identification (when the name had been considered as familiar), and false alarms. The investigation was carried out on 143 normal subjects who varied in age and education. Name familiarity and semantic scores were affected by educational level, whereas age influenced false alarms. A comparison between results obtained with names in this research and with faces and voices of the same famous people in our previous study showed that familiarity scores were higher for personal names than those for faces and voices, which obtained the worst scores. Person identification scores were not significantly different from names and from faces, but both these scores were significantly higher than the semantic scores obtained by voices. Taken together, these results are inconsistent with the influential interactive activation and competition model of person recognition. © 2018, Springer-Verlag Italia S.r.l., part of Springer Nature.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)663-669
Number of pages7
JournalNeurological Sciences
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • adult
  • article
  • competition
  • education
  • female
  • human
  • human experiment
  • major clinical study
  • male
  • nomenclature
  • public figure
  • semantics
  • standardization
  • stimulus
  • voice
  • aged
  • face
  • language
  • middle aged
  • neuropsychological test
  • physiology
  • recognition
  • very elderly
  • young adult, Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Face
  • Famous Persons
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Language
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Names
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Recognition (Psychology)
  • Semantics
  • Voice
  • Young Adult


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