Development of Face Processing Expertise

Kang Lee, Gizelle Anzures, Paul C. Quinn, Olivier Pascalis and Alan Slater

in Oxford Handbook of Face Perception

Published in print July 2011 | ISBN: 9780199559053
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

Development of Face Processing Expertise

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  • Psychology
  • Cognitive Psychology



This article focuses on the corresponding research findings pertaining to developmental changes throughout infancy to adolescence in processing various bits of face trait information. It examines whether faces are indeed a special class of stimuli. The role of experience in developing species-specific face expertise and standards of attractiveness are discussed. The research on infants' and children's categorization of different face types aids in exploring how the development of face categorization is influenced by experience. The article reviews evidence concerning the development of face identity discrimination and recognition and more specifically the controversy regarding whether such development undergoes a qualitative change during childhood. It deals with infants and children's use of three types of facial information: featural information, configural information, and holistic information.

Keywords: face expertise; face trait; face identity discrimination; configural information; attractiveness

Article.  14093 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Cognitive Psychology

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