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Gizelle Anzures, Liezhong Ge, Wang Zhe, David Kelly, Olivier Pascalis, Paul Quinn, Alan Slater, Kang Lee; Face feature processing in children: What develops and what does not?. Journal of Vision 2008;8(6):190. doi: 10.1167/8.6.190.
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The present study examines children's relative use of internal versus external face regions, as well as their relative use of individual internal features (i.e., eyes, nose, mouth) in their recognition of familiar faces. Children were presented with pictures of their classmates showing: i) the entire face, ii) the outer face (i.e., contour, hair, forehead, and ears), iii) the inner face (i.e., eyebrows, eyes, nose, mouth, cheeks, chin), iv) the eyes, v) the nose, or vi) the mouth. Photographs were sequentially presented in a different random order across participants except for the whole face photographs which were always presented last. Children were asked to identify the child in each photograph. The 4-year-olds (n = 48), 8-year-olds (n = 50), and 14-year-olds (n = 39) who participated had known their respective classmates for only 1 year. One-sample t-tests (2-tailed) showed that all age groups were above chance in their recognition of whole faces, inner faces, outer faces, eyes, and mouths (p values p p values [[lt]].05). Main effects of age also showed generally better recognition of inner/outer faces and individual internal features with age.
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