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Guess who? Facial identity discrimination training improves face memory in typically developing children.

Bate, S., Adams, A. and Bennetts, R., 2020. Guess who? Facial identity discrimination training improves face memory in typically developing children. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 149 (5), 901-913.

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DOI: 10.1037/xge0000689


While vast individual differences in face recognition have been observed in adults, very little work has explored when these differences come online during development, their domain specificity, and their consistency across different aspects of face processing. These issues do not only have important theoretical implications for the cognitive and developmental psychological literatures, but may reveal critical windows of neuroplasticity for optimal remediation of face recognition impairments. Here, we describe the first formal remedial face training program that is suitable for children, modifying the popular game Guess Who. Eighty-one typical children Aged 4-11 years were randomly allocated to an experimental or active control training condition. Over 10 training sessions, experimental participants were required to discriminate between faces that differed in feature size or spacing across 10 levels of difficulty, whereas control participants continuously played the standard version of Guess Who within the same timeframe. Improvements in face memory but not face matching were observed in the experimental compared to the control group, but there were no gains on tests of object matching or memory. Face memory gains were maintained in a 1-month follow up, consistent across age, and larger for poorer perceivers. Thus, this study not only presents a promising means of improving face recognition skills in children, but also indicates a consistent period of plasticity that spans early childhood to preadolescence, implying early segregation of face versus object processing.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:face recognition; face perception; development; training; individual differences; prosopagnosia
Group:Faculty of Science & Technology
ID Code:33161
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:23 Dec 2019 11:44
Last Modified:14 Mar 2022 14:19


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