Publication Details

Heron-Delaney, M., Anzures, G., Herbert, J. S., Quinn, P. C., Slater, A. M., Tanaka, J. W., Lee, K. & Pascalis, O. (2011). Perceptual training prevents the emergence of the other race effect during infancy. PLoS ONE, 6 (5), e19858-1-e19858-5.


Experience plays a crucial role in the development of the face processing system. At 6 months of age infants can discriminate individual faces from their own and other races. By 9 months of age this ability to process other-race faces is typically lost, due to minimal experience with other-race faces, and vast exposure to own-race faces, for which infants come to manifest expertise [1]. This is known as the Other Race Effect. In the current study, we demonstrate that exposing Caucasian infants to Chinese faces through perceptual training via picture books for a total of one hour between 6 and 9 months allows Caucasian infants to maintain the ability to discriminate Chinese faces at 9 months of age. The development of the processing of face race can be modified by training, highlighting the importance of early experience in shaping the face representation.



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