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Thesis Jonathan PARENTE


From 15 April 2023 to 14 April 2026

Development of Social Categorization of Faces.

The large number of differences in the cultures, rituals and traditions of the peoples on this planet gives rise to strong variations in the behaviors and interactions that result.
These cultural differences can lead to stereotyping. People have an implicit tendency to perceive and treat other members of the endogroup (our own socio-cultural group) more positively: endogroup preference (IGP).
IGP can lead to strong stereotypes and in the worst case to prejudiced thinking or even a negative attitude towards an individual based solely on their social group and/or appearance. The emergence of in-group preference is linked to the categorization of people
although IGP is only one of many factors that can contribute to the prevalence of prejudice. Faces are a key factor in the IGP process of categorizing others even though other factors also come into play such as spoken language or environment.
In this context, a crucial goal of this project will be to explore the interactions between face and speech processing in the development of categorization of individuals and PGI.
We will test the hypothesis that native language hearing modulates face categorization as a function of endogroup and also what information infants derive from face observation. We will use a behavioral, EEG, EMG, and eye-tracking approach to document infants' multimodal representation of categorization of individuals and how it affects social interaction in the first 2 years of life.
Behavioral measures will be used to assess cognitive representation in infants. Facial electromyography will allow us to record and measure mimicry. Eye tracking will provide information on gaze location during visual exploration. EEG will provide quantifiable and comparable electro-brain measurements throughout development.
This research project represents the first comprehensive attempt to systematically investigate the development of individuals' representations of race and its relationship to implicit endogroup preference.
First, we will investigate the notion of endogroup in the first two years of life through a multisensory combination of facial and language stimuli in different age groups. This will help document the developmental trajectory of PGI emergence.
Second, we will go beyond the standard area-of-interest approach to analyzing facial scan data. We will use several state-of-the-art analytical methods to map raw facial fixations to standard face models to obtain standardized fixation coordinates that are universally comparable across faces and laboratories.
Third, we will use high-density EEG to provide valuable information on the emergence and evolution of endogroup/exogroup categorization.
Finally, these results provide an important empirical basis for the development of programs to combat the early onset of PGI.

Supervisors :
- Olivier PASCALIS - (olivier[dot]pascalis[at]univ-grenoble-alpes[dot]fr)
- Rafael LABOISSIERE - (rafael[dot]laboissiere[at]univ-grenoble-alpes[dot]fr)

Keywords : Development of Social Categorization of Faces.


From 15 April 2023 to 14 April 2026


MESRI - Dotation EPST

Submitted on 16 November 2023

Updated on 16 November 2023