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Jasmine F. Mian, Catherine J. Mondloch; Recognizing identity in the face of change: The development of an expression-independent representation of facial identity. Journal of Vision 2012;12(7):17. doi: 10.1167/12.7.17.
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Perceptual aftereffects have indicated that there is an asymmetry in the extent to which adults' representations of identity and expression are independent of one another. Their representation of expression is identity-dependent; the magnitude of expression aftereffects is reduced when the adaptation and test stimuli have different identities. In contrast, their representation of identity is expression-independent; the magnitude of identity aftereffects is independent of whether the adaptation and test stimuli pose the same expressions. Like adults, children's representation of expression is identity-dependent (Vida & Mondloch, 2009). Here we investigated whether they have an expression-dependent representation of facial identity. Adults and 8-year-olds (n = 20 per group) categorized faces in an identity continuum (Sue/Jen) after viewing an adapting stimulus that displayed the same or a different emotional expression. Both groups showed identity aftereffects that were not influenced by facial expression. We conclude that, like adults, 8-year-old children's representation of identity is expression-independent.
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