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The Other-Race Effect Develops During Infancy: Evidence of Perceptual Narrowing

Kelly, David J., Quinn, P. C., Slater, A. M., Lee, K., Ge, L., Pascalis, O. (2007) The Other-Race Effect Develops During Infancy: Evidence of Perceptual Narrowing. Psychological Science, 18 (12). pp. 1084-1089. ISSN 0956-7976. (doi:10.1111/j.1467-9280.2007.02029.x)


Experience plays a crucial role in the development of face processing. In the study reported here, we investigated how faces observed within the visual environment affect the development of the face-processing system during the 1st year of life. We assessed 3-, 6-, and 9-month-old Caucasian infants’ ability to discriminate faces within their own racial group and within three otherrace groups (African, Middle Eastern, and Chinese). The 3-month-old infants demonstrated recognition in all conditions, the 6-month-old infants were able to recognize Caucasian and Chinese faces only, and the 9-month-old infants’ recognition was restricted to own-race faces. The pattern of preferences indicates that the other-race effect is emerging by 6 months of age and is present at 9 months of age. The findings suggest that facial input from the infant’s visual environment is crucial for shaping the face-processing system early in infancy, resulting in differential recognition accuracy for faces of different races in adulthood.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1111/j.1467-9280.2007.02029.x
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Psychology > Developmental Psychology
Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: David Kelly
Date Deposited: 10 Dec 2018 12:59 UTC
Last Modified: 30 May 2019 08:32 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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