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|Title:||Learning to Process Faces: Lessons from Development and Training|
|Keywords:||facial recognition;facial identity;children;adult|
|Abstract:||The present collection of studies examined the development of the ability to recognize facial identity rapidly and accurately, using two complementary approaches: comparing the performance of children and adults, and by training observers to learn novel stimuli in a laboratory setting. Across studies, children 8 to 10 years old performed less accurately than adults, a finding that confirms previous research that face processing takes many years to develop. However, results from two studies suggest that by 8 years of age, children encode individual facial identities relative to the average of previously experienced faces, in a manner similar to adults. The findings suggest that the basic mental architecture supporting face recognition is in place by 8 years. Additionally, children improved their ability to recognize unfamiliar faces from various viewpoints after just two, one-hour sessions of training, although the rate of learning was more variable than that observed in adults. The results from two studies also revealed that children's recognition accuracies of facial identity were lower than those of adults. An examination of children's similarity judgments of facial identity revealed that such immaturities in children's face processing may stem from greater variability in the mental representation of facial identities, rather than from immaturities in the encoding process per se. Findings from a final study suggest that the ability to make fine perceptual discriminations among individual faces arises, in part, from experience differentiating faces at the individual level, unlike the experience with non-face objects that typically involves recognition at the category level. The findings from the studies presented in this thesis suggest that such perceptual expertise may arise only with years of experience recognizing individual faces, and with sufficient neural development to support a stable mental representation of individual facial identities.|
|Appears in Collections:||Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
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|Nishimura Mayu.pdf||Thesis||78.23 MB||Adobe PDF||View/Open|
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