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Perceptual Development: Face Perception

  • By: Paul C. Quinn, Kang Lee, Olivier Pascalis & Alan M. Slater
  • In: Encyclopedia of Perception
  • Edited by: E. Bruce Goldstein
  • Subject:Sensation & Perception

Faces as perceptual stimuli pack a double punch in terms of being (1) the most extensively experienced class of stimuli that a human observer will encounter over the course of a lifetime, and (2) unique in the sense of conveying a wealth of information (e.g., emotion, gender, race, trustworthiness) that is absent in other objects, even those objects in which we are expert in recognizing. Investigators interested in the development of face perception have been examining the nature of the face representation that infants bring to the task of learning about faces and how that representation changes as a function of differential experience with mother versus stranger, male versus female, same- versus other-race, same- versus other-species, attractive versus unattractive, and positive versus negative emotion. This ...

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