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Perceptual ExpertiseBridging Brain and Behavior$
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Isabel Gauthier, Michael Tarr, and Daniel Bub

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195309607

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195309607.001.0001

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Development of Expertise in Face Recognition

Development of Expertise in Face Recognition

(p.67) 3 Development of Expertise in Face Recognition
Perceptual Expertise

Catherine J. Mondloch

Richard Le Grand

Daphne Maurer

Oxford University Press

Newborn infants have a bias to look at faces, in particular the eye region. Whether this is due to an innate face template or is the result of more general visual preferences, this early bias facilitates the development of specialization for faces by ensuring that the developing brain receives visual input from faces. Indeed, postnatal changes in face recognition abilities are assumed to arise from experience. However, despite an abundance of exposure to faces during infancy and early childhood, both neural and behavioral markers of face expertise suggest that perceptual tuning for faces is a gradual process, such that adult-like face recognition does not emerge until adolescence. In particular, children are impaired at recognizing faces under different transformations in appearance, they process faces in a piecemeal fashion rather than holistically, and they are less sensitive to second-order relations between face features.

Keywords:   face detection, face recognition, development, expertise, holistic processing, configural processing

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