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Development of Face Processing Expertise.

For the last 10 years, I have been working with Pr Kang Lee (Toronto University) and Pr Paul Quinn (Delaware University) on the development of face expertise during the first 2 years of life. This research program was supported by NIH. We have been investigating how children’s face expertise acquisition is tuned by experience in their unique environments. We have shown that although 6-month-olds recognize different races of human faces as well as different monkey faces, 9- to 10-month-olds recognize reliably only faces of their own species and race. Our long-term goal is to chart the developmental trajectory of face processing ability from infancy to adult-hood, to understand the interaction between processing of face categories versus person recognition, and to reveal the mechanisms underlying the development of face processing expertise. Ultimately, these studies should help us develop a comprehensive theory of face processing in infants and children.

Olivier PASCALIS