This research was supported by grants from the National Science Foundation (BCS 0224240) and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (R01-HD042451). We thank the infants and the parents who participated in this study.
Face Processing in Infancy: Developmental Changes in the Use of Different Kinds of Relational Information
Article first published online: 4 FEB 2005
Volume 76, Issue 1, pages 169–181, January 2005
How to Cite
Bhatt, R. S., Bertin, E., Hayden, A. and Reed, A. (2005), Face Processing in Infancy: Developmental Changes in the Use of Different Kinds of Relational Information. Child Development, 76: 169–181. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2005.00837.x
- Issue published online: 4 FEB 2005
- Article first published online: 4 FEB 2005
Adults use both first-order, or categorical, relations among features (e.g., the nose is above the mouth), and second-order, or fine spatial relations (e.g., the space between eyes), to process faces. Adults' expertise in face processing is thought to be based on the use of second-order relations. In the current study, 5-month-olds detected second-order changes, but 3-month-olds failed to detect second-order changes induced by 2 different manipulations. Three-month-olds did detect first-order changes, however. Also, inversion affected 5-month-olds' processing of second-order but not first-order information. These results suggest that, although sensitivity to first-order relations is available by 3 months or earlier, sensitivity to second-order information may not develop until sometime between 3 and 5 months of age.