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Sherryse Corrow, Tobias Donlon, Jordan Mathison, Vanessa Adamson, Albert Yonas; Predicting Face Recognition Skills in Children from Holistic Face Processing and Eye Tracking. Journal of Vision 2013;13(9):104. doi: 10.1167/13.9.104.
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Prosopagnosia is a socially debilitating disorder; especially for children faced with the task of developing social skills (Dalrymple, Corrow, Duchaine, & Yonas, 2012). Studies examining face recognition in adults have supported the hypothesis that holistic face processing underlies effective face recognition abilities. However, only recently has this hypothesis been directly examined in adults. A recent report by DeGutis, Wilmer, Mercado, & Cohen (2012) found that the relationship between measures of holistic processing and face recognition scores is robust. Understanding the role of holistic processing in the face recognition skills of children may aid in the creation of successful interventions for children with prosopagnosia. The present study examined individual differences in face recognition skills of typically developing children and tested two hypotheses; 1. like adults, children with higher scores of holistic face processing would exhibit better face recognition skills and 2. greater attention to the eye region would benefit face recognition whereas attention to extraneous areas, such as the chin, would inhibit successful face recognition. 75 8-year-old children completed childhood versions of the Cambridge Face Memory Task (Pellicano et al., unpublished; Dalrymple et al., 2012) and child-adapted versions of the part-whole task (Tanaka et al., 1993). Regression-based scores of holistic processing significantly predicted face recognition performance (p=0.007) with higher scores on the part-whole task predicting better CFMT scores. Furthermore, although attention to the eyes did not significantly predict face recognition skills, attention to the chin (p=0.04), forehead (p=0.01), and neck (p=0.001) negatively correlated with face recognition scores. These results suggest that individual differences in holistic processing play a significant role in face recognition for typically developing children. Furthermore, attention to extraneous areas of the face may interfere with this process.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2013
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