Do children utilize motion when recognizing faces?

Skelton, Faye Collette orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-4792-4238 and Hay, Dennis (2008) Do children utilize motion when recognizing faces? Visual Cognition, 16 (4). pp. 419-429. ISSN 1350-6285

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Previous research indicates that unfamiliar faces may be recognized better if they are viewed in motion. This study utilized a three trial learning paradigm to investigate whether unfamiliar faces are learnt more quickly from moving clips than from static images. Children aged 6–7 years and 10–11 years were shown a series of faces as either static images or dynamic clips, followed by either by a static or a dynamic recognition test. Faces were recognized more accurately when presented in motion, but there was no advantage for testing in motion. Although older children were more accurate overall, younger females performed as well as older children for faces presented in motion, suggesting that females’ face processing skills develop more quickly than those of males. Results are discussed in terms of the motion advantage arising due to additional structural information enhancing the internal representation of the face.

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