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Astrid Hönekopp, Annika Just, Sarah Weigelt, Kami Koldewyn; Body Coding Mechanisms in 9- to 10-Year-Old Children and Young Adults. Journal of Vision 2018;18(10):772. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/18.10.772.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Along with faces, bodies are important social stimuli that provide crucial information we can use for recognizing, understanding, and predicting other people. While a great deal is already known about face processing and face coding in the human brain across development, this is not the case for body processing. Coding of facial identity, for example, has widely been studied with the help of face identity adaptation aftereffect paradigms. In adults and children alike, facial identity seems to be norm-based and opponent coded in a face-space instead of in an exemplar-based, multichannel coding system. Rhodes, Jeffery, Boeing, and Calder (2013) examined body coding mechanisms in adults using a body identity adaptation aftereffect paradigm. Their results provide evidence for norm-based, opponent coding of human bodies. Using a comparable aftereffect paradigm, albeit embedded in a story about a "superhero training camp", the present study investigated body coding mechanisms in young adults and 9- to 10-year-old children. So far, 34 children and 29 adults have been tested with a child-friendly, two-alternative forced choice touch tablet task. Preliminary results suggest that body identity is coded in a body-space in children and adults alike. However, from our data, no clear conclusion can be drawn yet, for either age group, concerning the differentiation between norm-based and exemplar-based coding of body identity. The present study therefore provides the first evidence of similar body coding mechanisms in a body-space for school-aged children and adults. Nonetheless, the exact body identity coding mechanisms at work and both how and when such mechanisms develop remain as open questions.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2018
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