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Keywords:

  • children;
  • faces;
  • force choice task

Abstract

There is developmental progression in the ability to recognize human faces (HF) during childhood, accompanied by qualitative differences in what children perceive and remember. The best known example is that of sensitivity to vertical orientation: while there is age-related improvement in recognizing upright faces, upside-down ones show no recognition improvement. It is believed by some investigators to be a sign of developing face-expertise over the first 10 years or so of life. If expertise, based on experience with many individuals, is the basis for the development of the inversion-effect, faces from other species should not induce inversion-effects. In two experiments, we explored the expertise phenomenon by testing recognition of faces of different animal species with children between 5 and 10 years of age. Our results failed to show any developmental changes in the processing of faces of own- and other-species. Copyright © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.