Biracial and monoracial infant own-race face perception: an eye tracking study.

Published

Journal Article

We know that early experience plays a crucial role in the development of face processing, but we know little about how infants learn to distinguish faces from different races, especially for non-Caucasian populations. Moreover, it is unknown whether differential processing of different race faces observed in typically studied monoracial infants extends to biracial infants as well. Thus, we investigated 3-month-old Caucasian, Asian and biracial (Caucasian-Asian) infants' ability to distinguish Caucasian and Asian faces. Infants completed two within-subject, infant-controlled habituation sequences and test trials as an eye tracker recorded looking times and scanning patterns. Examination of individual differences revealed significant positive correlations between own-race novelty preference and scanning frequency between eye and mouth regions of own-race habituation stimuli for Caucasian and Asian infants, suggesting that facility in own-race face discrimination stems from active inspection of internal facial features in these groups. Biracial infants, however, showed the opposite effect: An 'own-race' novelty preference was associated with reduced scanning between eye and mouth regions of 'own-race' habituation stimuli, suggesting that biracial infants use a distinct approach to processing frequently encountered faces. Future directions for investigating face processing development in biracial populations are discussed.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Gaither, SE; Pauker, K; Johnson, SP

Published Date

  • November 2012

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 15 / 6

Start / End Page

  • 775 - 782

PubMed ID

  • 23106731

Pubmed Central ID

  • 23106731

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1467-7687

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1363-755X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/j.1467-7687.2012.01170.x

Language

  • eng