July 2013
Volume 13, Issue 9
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   July 2013
Facial motion facilitates featural, not holistic, processing in children, adolescents, and adults
Author Affiliations
  • Naiqi Xiao
    Applied Psychology and Human Development, University of Toronto
  • Paul Quinn
    Department of Psychology, University of Delaware
  • Liezhong Ge
    Department of Psychology, Zhejiang Sci-Tech University
  • Kang Lee
    Applied Psychology and Human Development, University of Toronto
Journal of Vision July 2013, Vol.13, 96. doi:https://doi.org/10.1167/13.9.96
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      Naiqi Xiao, Paul Quinn, Liezhong Ge, Kang Lee; Facial motion facilitates featural, not holistic, processing in children, adolescents, and adults. Journal of Vision 2013;13(9):96. https://doi.org/10.1167/13.9.96.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Although most of the faces we encounter daily are dynamically moving ones, much of what we know about face processing and its development is based on studies using static faces. Here we report studies with children (8-year-olds), adolescents (12-year-olds), and adults (18- to 20-year-olds) to examine the effects of elastic and rigid motion developmentally. In particular, we used the face composite effect to measure the influence of these classes of movement on face featural versus holistic processing. In the elastic motion studies, participants were first familiarized with a front view of a face chewing and blinking, followed by a static composite face. Participants decided whether the top half of the familiarized and composite faces were the same person. In the static condition, the dynamic familiarization face was replaced with a single static face picture, which was extracted from the dynamic face video. The results showed that, in adults, the composite effect in the dynamic condition was significantly smaller than that in the static condition. This result indicates that elastic facial movement facilitates featural face processing. A comparable motion facilitation effect was also observed in the adolescent group, but not in children. In the rigid motion studies, the same procedure as in the elastic motion studies was used, except that the dynamic face stimuli were faces turning from side to side. We found that rigid motion facilitates featural face processing in adults, adolescents, and children. The results taken together suggest that the ability to utilize rigid motion to optimize face processing is present by 8 years of age, whereas the ability to use elastic facial movement to optimize face processing emerges after 8 years. These findings point to the importance of using more naturalistic dynamic face stimuli to study face processing and its development.

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2013


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