No childhood development of viewpoint-invariant face recognition: Evidence from 8-year-olds and adults

Kate Crookes, R.A. Robbins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Performance on laboratory face tasks improves across childhood, not reaching adult levels until adolescence. Debate surrounds the source of this development, with recent reviews suggesting that underlying face processing mechanisms are mature early in childhood and that the improvement seen on experimental tasks instead results from general cognitive/perceptual development. One face processing mechanism that has been argued to develop slowly is the ability to encode faces in a view-invariant manner (i.e., allowing recognition across changes in viewpoint). However, many previous studies have not controlled for general cognitive factors. In the current study, 8-year-olds and adults performed a recognition memory task with two study-test viewpoint conditions: same view (study front view, test front view) and change view (study front view, test three-quarter view). To allow quantitative comparison between children and adults, performance in the same view condition was matched across the groups by increasing the learning set size for adults. Results showed poorer memory in the change view condition than in the same view condition for both adults and children. Importantly, there was no quantitative difference between children and adults in the size of decrement in memory performance resulting from a change in viewpoint. This finding adds to growing evidence that face processing mechanisms are mature early in childhood. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-111
JournalJournal of Experimental Child Psychology
Volume126
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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