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Stefania Conte, Ryan Barry-Anwar, Lisa Scott; The development of processing face race and face sex in childhood.. Journal of Vision 2018;18(10):232. doi: 10.1167/18.10.232.
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By the end of the first year, there is a shift from a female, own-race face processing advantage to a general own-race advantage (Tham et al., 2015). The present study sought to extend these findings and examine the development of processing race and sex later in childhood. Visual fixation patterns of 15 younger (3-4 years) and 8 older (5-6 years) Caucasian children were recorded. Children saw faces (2000ms) that varied by race (own/Caucasian, other/Asian), sex (female, male), and orientation (upright, inverted). Visual fixation similarity scores were calculated by examining temporal and spatial sequences of fixations (ScanMatch Toolbox, Cristino et al., 2010) and comparing them between participants within each age group. Children's fixation patterns were predicted to increase in similarity with age for faces within commonly experienced groups (i.e., female own-race faces). Younger children explored other-race faces more consistently than own-race faces (p < .001; Figure 1), whereas older children's similarity scores did not differ by race. However, the similarity scores for both own-race (p < .001) and other-race faces (p < .05) were greater for older than younger children. Interestingly, race did not interact with either inversion or sex. When viewing both upright male (p = .001) and female faces (p < .05) and inverted female faces (p < .001) older children used a more similar visual strategy than younger children (Figure 2). However, when viewing inverted male faces, younger and older children's strategies did not differ. Visual fixations patterns for both own- and other-race faces as well as female faces in both orientations are more similar for older than younger children. However, fixation patterns are more similar in older children for upright, but not inverted, male faces. These findings suggest that the developmental trajectories for processing face race and face sex differ in childhood.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2018
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