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Large bodies of research focus on face processing in children and on adults with developmental prosopagnosia (DP), but little research has investigated DP in children. DP prevalence is estimated to be 2% of the population, and creates substantial difficulties for adults and children alike. A major factor limiting the study of face processing deficits in children with DP and other conditions is the lack of well-designed, reliable diagnostic face processing tests for children. As a step towards overcoming this limitation, we designed a Cambridge Face Memory Test (CFMT) for children (CFMT-Kids). This test follows the same format as the original CFMT, with 3 alternative forced-choice items that test memory for 6 target faces, but uses faces of children rather than adults. Task difficulty is calibrated for children. Data from a group of 11-year old children indicates that the test has good internal consistency (α=0.83). An 11-year-old child with DP scored 36% on the test, which is only slightly above chance and falls 2.7 standard deviations below the mean. The CFMT-Kids is available to other researchers. In addition to other tests of face perception for children, we will design a second CFMT-Kids of equal difficulty and reliability to facilitate pre- and post- training assessment in children with face perception deficits. Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2012
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The Cambridge Face Memory Test for Children (CFMT-C): A new tool
for measuring face recognition skills in childhood
Abigail Croydon
, Hannah Pimperton
, Louise Ewing
, Brad C. Duchaine
Elizabeth Pellicano
Centre for Research in Autism and Education (CRAE), Institute of Education, University of London, London, UK
Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London, London, UK
Department of Psychological Science, Birkbeck, London, UK
School of Psychology, University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia
Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH, USA
article info
Article history:
Received 13 May 2014
Received in revised form
21 June 2014
Accepted 10 July 2014
Available online 20 July 2014
Face recognition
Face memory
Inversion effect
Face recognition ability follows a lengthy developmental course, not reaching maturity until well into
adulthood. Valid and reliable assessments of face recognition memory ability are necessary to examine
patterns of ability and disability in face processing, yet there is a dearth of such assessments for children.
We modied a well-known test of face memory in adults, the Cambridge Face Memory Test (Duchaine &
Nakayama, 2006, Neuropsychologia, 44, 576585), to make it developmentally appropriate for children.
To establish its utility, we administered either the upright or inverted versions of the computerised
Cambridge Face Memory Test Children (CFMT-C) to 401 children aged between 5 and 12 years. Our
results show that the CFMT-C is sufciently sensitive to demonstrate age-related gains in the recognition
of unfamiliar upright and inverted faces, does not suffer from ceiling or oor effects, generates robust
inversion effects, and is capable of detecting difculties in face memory in children diagnosed with
autism. Together, these ndings indicate that the CFMT-C constitutes a new valid assessment tool for
children's face recognition skills.
&2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
1. Introduction
Faces are critical to social interaction. They provide a wealth of
information about an individual's gender, ethnicity, emotional state,
direction of attention and, crucially, they uniquely identify the owner.
The ability to identify persons from their facial appearance face
identity recognition begins early in development (e.g., Bushnell, Sai,
& Mullin, 1989; Pascalis, de Schonen, Morton, Deruelle, & Fabre-
Grenet, 1995). Despite this early facility, the emergence of adult face
expertise follows a protracted course of development, with perfor-
mance on tests of face recognition not approaching maturity until
well into adulthood (e.g., Germine,Duchaine,&Nakayama,2011;
Much current research is focused on understanding the per-
ceptual, cognitive, and neural mechanisms underlying this lengthy
developmental trajectory (e.g., Crookes & McKone, 2009) and
elucidating how such processes might develop differently in
children with neurodevelopmental conditions, such as autism
(e.g., Weigelt, Koldewyn, & Kanwisher 2012) and developmental
prosopagnosia (Wilson, Palermo, Schmalzl, & Brock, 2010). Such
research would be facilitated by standardized assessments of
unfamiliar face identity recognition, providing tools useful for
experimental and clinical settings and enabling direct comparison
between individuals with and without neurodevelopmental con-
ditions (see Dalrymple, Corrow, Yonas, and Duchaine (2012)).
Yet many of the existing standardized face recognition tests
for adults (e.g. the Benton Facial Recognition Test: Benton, Sivan,
Hamsher, Varney, & Spreen, 1983; the Recognition Memory Test
for Faces: Warrington, 1984) and children (e.g. the Identity
Matching Test: Bruce et al., 2000) suffer from signicant short-
comings, where a score in the normal rangedoes not necessarily
reect typical face recognition skills (Duchaine & Nakayama, 2004;
Duchaine & Weidenfeld, 2003). For example, in the Benton Facial
Recognition Test both the target and the test faces are presented
simultaneously, which means that participants can derive the
correct responses by using a feature-matching strategy, while in
Warrington's Recognition Memory Test for Faces, participants can
use non-face information present in the stimuli to select the
Contents lists available at ScienceDirect
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0028-3932/&2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Corresponding author at: Centre for Research in Autism and Education,
Department of Psychology and Human Development, Institute of Education, 25
Woburn Square, London WC1H 0AA, UK. Tel.: þ44 207 331 5140.
E-mail address: (E. Pellicano).
Neuropsychologia 62 (2014) 60 67
correct response. Both these limitations are also present in the
children's Identity Matching Test (Bruce et al., 2000).
The Cambridge Face Memory Test (CFMT) was developed both to
capitalise on the strengths of the previous adult assessments and to
overcome their limitations in order to provide researchers and
clinicians with a standardised test of face recognition that would
accurately and reliably measure face memory ability (Duchaine &
Nakayama, 2006). In the CFMT, adults study, and are subsequently
tested on, the facial identities of 6 men posing with neutral
expressions in three distinct experimental stages. Stage 1 requires
participants to identify the same learned face amongst two distractor
images, when the test image is identical to the study face. Stage
2 calls for recognition of the same learned faces in novel viewpoints
and/or lighting conditions. Stage 3 requires recognition of the learned
faces from novel images degraded by the presence of visual noise in
order to increase the difculty and to force greater reliance on face-
specic mechanisms (McKone,Martini,&Nakayama,2001).
Duchaine and Nakayama (2006) established that the CFMT showed
excellent psychometric properties: the test showed a good range of
responses in typical adults (n¼50), did not suffer from ceiling or oor
effects, showed the classic face-inversion effect (a decrement in
performance when the face is turned upside-down) and could reliably
diagnose individuals with acquired prosopagnosia, who have profound
face-specicmemorydecits (see Wilmer et al. (2010),forfurther
psychometric ndings). Consequently, the test is now used widely to
test face identity recognition (e.g., Banissy et al., 2011; Bowles et al.,
2009; Di Simplicio, Massey-Chase, Cowen, & Harmer, 2009; Hedley,
Brewer, & Young, 2011; Kirchner, Hatri, Heekeren, & Dziobek, 2011;
OHearn, Schroer, Minshew, & Luna, 2010; Richler, Cheung, & Gauthier,
2011; Wilmer et al., 2010)at least in adults. A study using the CFMT
with typically developing children aged between 9 and 17 years
showed that performance in the younger children (9- to 12-year-olds)
was poor and that the test was not sufciently sensitive to distinguish
between children with autism and typically developing children at this
age (OHearn et al., 2010).
In the current study, we adapted Duchaine and Nakayama's
CFMT to create a developmentally sensitive test of face recognition
for children aged between 5 and 12 years. Here, we report on the
performance of a large sample of primary and secondary school
children on the upright and inverted versions of this new test, the
CFMT for children (CFMT-C). We also examined the validity of the
CFMT-C by administering it to a group of children diagnosed with
autism, who have marked difculties in social interaction and for
whom problems with face identity recognition have been consis-
tently implicated (Weigelt et al., 2012).
2. Methods
2.1. Participants
Four hundred and one participants (202 females) aged between 5 and 12 years
were recruited from primary and secondary schools in England, UK, to take part in this
study. Two hundred and eighty-two children completed the upright version of the test,
including 37 5-year-olds (13 females), 38 6-year-olds (20 females), 37 7-year-olds
(21 females), 40 8-year-olds (20 females), 33 9-year-olds (17 females), 41 10-year-olds
(24 females), 29 11-year-olds (13 females) and 27 12-year-olds (13 females). One
hundred and nineteen children completed the inverted version, including 12 5-year-olds
(3 females), 10 6-year-olds (4 females), 12 7-year-olds (6 females), 18 8-year-olds
(9 females), 20 9-year-olds (12 females), 23 10-year-olds (12 females), 12 11-year-olds
(7 fem ale s) and 12 12 -year-olds (8 fem ales ).
2.2. Stimuli
The face stimuli were selected from those used in the adult version of the CFMT
(Duchaine & Nakayama, 2006). The faces were greyscale photographs of men in early
adulthood posing with neutral expressions. Each face was photographed in the same
three poses and lighting conditions and cropped to remove the hairline and any
facial blemishes (see Fig. 1 for example stimuli). Similar to the CFMT, the same faces
were used in the upright and inverted versions of the CFMT-C, the difference being
that in the inverted version all images were presented upside-down (rotated 1801).
Based on pilot testing with 16 children aged between 5 and 12 years, several
modications were made to the original CFMT to create the CFMT-C. First, the
number of target faces that the children viewed was reduced from six to ve.
Asking children to remember six target faces resulted in a oor effect during the
most difcult noisesection of the test, while four target faces induced a ceiling
effect for older children. The face selected for elimination from the test was the one
that produced the lowest percentage of correct responses out of the six target faces
in the original test (Duchaine & Nakayama, 2006). Second, test items were altered
from a three- to a two-alternative forced choice design, comprising one target face
and one distractor face (see Fig. 1A). Based on error data from adult participants,
the least distinct distractor (i.e., the one most similar to the target and therefore
incorrectly selected most often by adult participants) was removed from each test
item. Third, the exposure time of the target faces was increased from 300 0 ms to
5000 ms in stage 1 of the test to give children more time to encode the faces.
Finally, the wording of the on-screen instructions was made appropriate for
children, including practice trials showing a popular cartoon face, and reinforce-
ment slides (e.g., Keep up the good work!) to provide encouragement and help
maintain children's attention.
2.3. Procedure: upright version
As in the original CFMT, the CFMT-C was comprised of a short practice stage
plus three progressively more difcult stages (same images, novel images and novel
images with noise).
2.3.1. Practice
This stage was used to familiarise children with the task structure. In the study
phase, children saw the face of a popular cartoon character presented three times
sequentially for 5000 ms each shown from different viewpoints (left-facing, front
view, right-facing). Children were instructed to look at the images very carefully
because they would need to remember them later. In the test phase, children saw
the face of the same cartoon character alongside another character. They were
asked to select which of the two faces they had just seen and to make the
corresponding keypress (1or 2). There were 3 test trials, one for each of the three
different viewpoints. If an error was made on one or more practice trials, the
practice stage was repeated until the child achieved perfect performance.
2.3.2. Stage 1: same images
Children were told that they would now need to memorise the faces of ve
different (real) people. During the study phase (see Fig. 1A), three different images
(left-facing, front view, right-facing) of each face were presented sequentially for
5000 ms just like in the practice stage. Next, in the test phase (see Fig. 1B), each of
the three images was presented alongside a distractor face and children were
required to choose which face they had just seen by making the corresponding
keypress (1or 2) themselves (older children) or by informing the experimenter of
their answer, who pressed the corresponding key on their behalf (young children:
5- to 6-year-olds). No feedback was given. One point was given for each correct
response (maximum¼15).
2.3.3. Stage 2: novel images
In the study phase, children initially inspected a single screenshot showing
front views of all the ve target faces for 20 s (see Fig. 1C). They were instructed to
look carefully at the faces and to try to memorise them. During the test phase,
children completed 25 trials, each consisting of one of the target faces and a
distractor face, which remained onscreen until a response (keypress: 1or 2).
Children selected which of the two faces they thought was one of the ve target
faces they had been asked to memorise. Each target face was shown 5 times each in
axed, randomized order. Children were given one point for each correct response
(maximum¼25). Each distractor face appeared several times throughout the test
phase to avoid the possibility that participants might select the correct answer
simply by choosing faces that looked familiar. All target faces presented during the
test phase were novel images, that is, either the lighting or viewpoint was different
from those used in stage 1 (same images) (see Fig. 1C; for further detail, see
Duchaine & Nakayama, 2006).
2.3.4. Stage 3: novel images with noise
The nal stage began with another study phase a single presentation of all
ve target faces, which children were again instructed to review for 20 s (see
Fig. 1D). The subsequent test phase consisted of 20 trials in which a novel image of
each target face was presented together with a distractor face 4 times each.
Critically, both target and distractor images were masked with a pre-specied
degree of Gaussian noise (see Fig. 1D), making the judgment more difcult than in
stage 2. Trials were presented in a xed, random order and the faces remained
onscreen until children indicated which of the two faces most closely resembled
one of the ve target faces. One point was given for each correct response
A. Croydon et al. / Neuropsychologia 62 (2014) 6067 61
Like in the adult CFMT, scores across all three stages were summed to yield a
total recognition accuracy score for each child (out of 60).
2.4. Procedure: inverted version
The procedure for the inverted version of the CFMT-C was identical to the
upright version. The exception to this was that children were told that there was
something a bit strange about the faces they are going to be all upside-down!
They were encouraged to look at them carefully, just like in the upright version.
2.5. General procedure
Written informed consent was provided by the parents of all children prior to
participation. All children were seen individually in a quiet space within their
Fig. 1. Stimuli and procedure for the Cambridge Face Memory Test for Children (CFMT-C). A: Stage 1 (same images study phase). During the study phase, participants viewed
5 target faces, one at a time from three different viewpoints. B: Stage 1 (same images test phase). In the test phase, participants were then required to judge which of two
faces was the one they had just seen. C: Stage 2 (novel images). During the study phase, participants were presented with all ve target faces and asked to review them
carefully. In the test phase, one of these faces was presented in a different viewpoint and children were asked to identify which of two faces (a novel image of the target face
and a distractor face) was one of the 5 target faces. D: Stage 3 (novel images with noise). Similar to the study phase of stage 2, participants were asked to review the same
5 target faces. During the test phase, they were shown two faces comprising a novel image of target face and a distractor face, both masked with Gaussian noise.
A. Croydon et al. / Neuropsychologia 62 (2014) 606762
school. We used a 15-in. Macintosh Powerbook G4 running OSX, and children were
seated at a distance of approximately 50 cm from the computer screen. The test
took approximately 810 min to complete.
3. Results
To begin, we determine the presence of any oor or ceiling
effects in the upright dataset. We then examine the relationship
between age and total performance on the upright and inverted
versions of the CFMT-C and also, using ANOVA, we examine age-
related differences on the three stages of each test version
(upright, inverted) and provide normative data for children of
different ages. Finally, we establish the reliability and validity of
the CFMT-C. Note that children's scores were converted to per-
centages to facilitate comparison across the three stages.
3.1. Floor/ceiling effects
One sample ttests (with Bonferroni correction for multiple
comparisons; corrected po.004) on children's upright perfor-
mance showed that there were no oor and ceiling effects (see
Table 1 for scores). Five- and 6-year-olds scored signicantly above
chance (50%) in all three stages (all pso.001). Eleven- and 12-
year-olds scored signicantly below ceiling (100%) under all
conditions (all pso.002). The mean performance of the oldest
children (12-year-olds; n¼27) was 82.6% (SD ¼9.4%). This perfor-
mance is comparable to Duchaine and Nakayama's (2006) adult
participants (M¼80.42%, SD¼11.0), suggesting that test difculty
for the older children in the CFMT-C is closely matched to test
difculty for adults in the original test.
3.2. Age-related gains in overall CFMT-C performance
To examine the relationship between age and children's total
CFMT-C performance, we conducted two separate regression
analyses on children's total percentage correct for each version
(upright, inverted) separately. Fig. 2 shows that there is much
individual variation in performance on both tasks but also clear
age-related improvements in face identity recognition. For the
upright task, age accounted for 25% of the variance in children's
performance, F(1, 280)¼94.9, po.001. Each additional birthday
resulted in a 2.8% increase in children's total score. Similarly, for
the inverted task, age accounted for a signicant amount of
variance (R
¼.31) in the model, F(1,117)¼52.10, po.001. Children
improved in their performance on the inverted task by approxi-
mately 2.8% with each birthday.
3.3. Age-related differences on stages of the CMFT-C
Table 1 shows children's performance on each stage of the upright
and inverted versions of the CFMT-C at each age. To examine age-
related differences on the CFMT-C, we performed a repeated-measures
years, 11 years, 12 years) and version (upright, inverted) as the
between-participants factors and stage (same images, novel images,
novel images with noise) as the within-participants factor. An addi-
tional ANOVA with gender as a factor (male, female) showed no main
effect of gender or any interaction involving gender (all pso.08).
There was a main effect of version, F(1, 385)¼136.06, po.001,
¼.26. As expected, there was a signicant inversion effect.
Performance was signicantly better in the upright (M¼76.3%;
SD¼12.2) than the inverted (M¼65.6%; SD ¼10.2) version of the
CFMT-C. On average, the effect of inversion led to a 10.7%
reduction in performance. There was no interaction between
version and age group, Fo1, indicating no developmental increase
in the size of the inversion effect.
There was also a main effect of stage, F(2, 770) ¼285.94,
po.001, η
¼.43. These main effects were qualied by a stage-
version interaction, F(2, 770)¼8.61, po.001, η
¼.02. In the
upright version, performance in stage 1 (same images:
M¼90.5%; SD¼12.3) was signicantly better than in stage 2 (novel
images: M¼76.2%; SD¼15.6), t(281)¼17.68, po.001, which in
turn was signicantly better than performance in stage 3 (novel
images with noise: M¼67.2%; SD¼14.7), t(281)¼10.44, po.001.
In the inverted version, performance in stage 1 (same images:
M¼77.1%; SD¼16.6) was signicantly better than in stage 2 (novel
images: M¼63.2%; SD¼13.8), t(118)¼9.48, po.001, which in turn
was signicantly better than inverted performance in stage 3
(novel images with noise: M¼59.6%; SD¼11.9), t(118)¼2.39,
po.05. The source of the interaction came from comparison of
the difference between performance in the inverted stages. The
difference in performance between stages 1 and 2 was signi-
cantly greater (M¼13.92; SD¼16.02) than the difference between
stages 2 and 3 (M¼3.58; SD¼16.36), t(118)¼4.30, po.001, most
likely because performance in stage 3 was approaching oor.
Table 1
Children's mean performance (% correct) on the different stages of the upright and inverted versions of the CFMT-C.
CFMT-C stage
Version Age group Same images Novel images Novel images with noise Total % correct
M (SD) M (SD) M (SD) M (SD)
Upright 5-year-olds (n¼37) 80.0 (12.1) 62.3 (14.3) 60.5 (13.0) 66.1 (11.0)
6-year-olds (n¼38) 83.7 (13.3) 67.3 (15.6) 58.4 (13.0) 66.9 (11.3)
7-year-olds (n¼37) 88.4 (11.8) 73.5 (14.4) 67.3 (14.3) 75.2 (10.6)
8-year-olds (n¼40) 90.8 (10.5) 76.8 (13.1) 67.6 (12.3) 76.1 (9.8)
9-year-olds (n¼33) 94.5 (8.2) 82.2 (11.9) 71.3 (13.9) 81.6 (9.0)
10-year-olds (n¼41) 95.6 (7.1) 81.3 (15.6) 69.6 (15.3) 80.1 (12.0)
11-year-olds (n¼29) 97.0 (4.6) 85.1 (12.0) 70.5 (14.0) 83.2 (9.2)
12-year-olds (n¼27) 97.3 (7.4) 86.2 (9.0) 75.6 (14.4) 85.6 (8.2)
Inverted 5-year-olds (n¼12) 66.1 (12.8) 47.3 (8.8) 52.9 (11.2) 53.4 (5.3)
6-year-olds (n¼10) 64.0 (12.3) 51.6 (13.1) 58.0 (8.9) 56.5 (7.2)
7-year-olds (n¼12) 73.9 (16.7) 59.3 (13.6) 54.2 (14.9) 64.0 (11.8)
8-year-olds (n¼18) 77.0 (16.4) 62.0 (9.4) 60.8 (14.3) 65.4 (7.3)
9-year-olds (n¼20) 81.7 (11.4) 67.6 (9.9) 58.8 (10.4) 67.9 (6.1)
10-year-olds (n¼23) 76.5 (18.9) 65.6 (13.5) 60.9 (9.6) 66.8 (9.9)
11-year-olds (n¼12) 86.7 (14.2) 74.7 (11.5) 64.2 (13.4) 74.2 (9.1)
12-year-olds (n¼12) 86.1 (17.2) 70.7 (12.8) 65.4 (9.4) 72.8 (10.1)
Note that chance performance on each stage of the CFMT-C is 50%.
A. Croydon et al. / Neuropsychologia 62 (2014) 6067 63
There was a signicant main effect of age group F(7, 385)¼18 .47,
po.001, η
¼.25. Post-hoc comparisons with Bonferroni correction
conrmed a general pattern of age-related improvements in face
identity recognition. The performance difference between adjacent
ages, however, was not always signicant (see Table 1 for scores).
Five-year-olds performed signicantly worse than all other age
groups (all pso.001) apart from 6-year-olds, 6-year-olds performed
worse than all other groups (all pso.005) apart from 5- and 7-year-
olds, 7-year-olds performed signicantly better than 5-year-olds
(po.001) and signicantly worse than 11- and 12-year-olds
(pso.001), 8-year-olds performed better than 5- and 6-year-olds
(pso.005) but worse than 11- and 12-year-olds (pso.02), both
9- and 10-year-olds performed better than 5- and 6-year-olds
(pso.001) and similar to all other age groups, and 11- and 12-
year-olds obtained higher scores than all age groups (pso.002)
with the exception of 9-year-olds. There were no signicant
interactions involving age group (ps4.09). These results mirror
the regression analyses showing a gradual age-related increase in
face identity recognition.
3.4. Reliability
Following Duchaine and Nakayama (2006) and Bowles et al.
(2009), we calculated the reliability of the upright version of the
CFMT-C across all participants in two ways. First, we correlated
children's performance on stage 2 of the test (novel images) with
their performance on stage 3 (novel images with noise). Perfor-
mance was signicantly correlated across these conditions, r(279)
¼.54, po.001. This moderately-sized correlation was not as strong
as that reported by Duchaine and Nakayama (2006);r¼.74; n¼50
adults; r¼.75 or Bowles et al. (2009),n¼124 young adults and
may be due to the possibility that children's performance is less
stable with development than adults.
Second, we examined the internal consistency of the upright
version of the CFMT-C. The estimate of Cronbach's alpha was high
(α¼.88) and comparable to that reported with the adult CFMT
(Bowles et al., 2009;α¼.89). Like the CFMT, the CFMT-C therefore
meets the standard reliability requirements for clinical tests
(Cronbach's alpha 4.85; Aiken, 2003).
3.5. Validity
To determine the validity of the CMFT-C, we administered the
upright version on a population with known difculties in face
identity recognition (see Weigelt et a l. (2012),forreview).Forty-four
children (9 girls) diagnosed with an autism spectrum condition
aged between 7 and 12 years (M age¼10.7 years; SD¼1.6) took
part in this validation study. All children had received indepen-
dent clinical diagnoses of autism (n¼36) or Asperger syndrome
(n¼8) and obtained a score of at least 15 or above (the cut-off for
autism) on the Social Communication Questionnaire (SCQ; Rutter
et al., 2003). Children with autism were compared to a subsample
of typical children (n¼44; 11 females) who had completed the
upright version of the CFMT-C (M age ¼10.6 years; SD¼1. 7 ). Al l
typical children fell well below the cutoff score of 15 on the SCQ,
suggesting that they showed few behavioural features of autism
(see Table 2).
The groups were of similar chronological age, F(1,86)¼.29,
p¼.87, verbal IQ, F(1,86)¼.71, p¼.40, and performance IQ, F
(1,86)¼.02, p¼.89, as measured by the Wechsler Abbreviated
Scales of Intelligence (WASI; Wechsler, 1999) (see Table 2 for
scores). All children completed the upright version of the CFMT-C
in a single, individual session alongside the measure of intellectual
functioning. Parents gave informed written consent for their child
to take part.
To examine potential group differences in CFMT-C perfor-
mance, an ANOVA with group (autism, typical) as the between-
participants factor and stage (same images, novel images, novel
images with noise) as the within-participants factor was per-
formed on children's scores (percentage correct). There was a
Fig. 2. Total percentage correct on the CFMT-C plotted against age for children who completed the upright (open blue circles) and inverted (open green circles) versions. The
regression lines are shown for each relationship (upright: solid blue, y¼51.89þ(2.78) age; inverted: solid green, y¼40.09þ(2.79) age) and 95% condence intervals. Dotted
line represents chance performance (50%). (For interpretation of the references to colour in this gure legend, the reader is referred to the web version of this article.)
A. Croydon et al. / Neuropsychologia 62 (2014) 606764
signicant main effect of stage, F(2, 172)¼153.76, po.001, η
Overall, participants performed better in stage 1 (same images:
M¼89.8%; SD¼12.5) than in stage 2 (novel images phase:
M¼77.5%; SD¼13.3), t(87)¼9.40, po.001, and stage 3 (novel
images with noise: M¼65.2%; SD¼15.1), t(87) ¼8.46, po.001.
There was also a main effect of group, F(1,86)¼15.63, po.001,
¼.15. Children with autism (M¼71.7%; SD¼12.8) obtained
signicantly lower scores than typical children (M¼81.3%;
SD¼10.2). There was no interaction between group and condition,
Autistic children's total performance on the CFMT-C was
unrelated to their age, verbal IQ or performance IQ (all ps4.11).
Yet there was a signicant negative correlation between children's
total % correct and their SCQ scores, r(43)¼.40, p¼.007. Greater
degrees of autistic symptomatology were related to worse face
memory performance on the CFMT-C. Overall, these results sug-
gest that the CFMT-C is sensitive for detecting atypicalities in face
identity recognition in children with autism.
4. Discussion
Face identity recognition skills follow a lengthy trajectory and
are at risk of developing atypically in individuals with neurode-
velopmental conditions, such as autism and developmental pro-
sopagnosia. There are, however, remarkably few tests that are
appropriate for assessing these skills in children and those that do
exist (e.g., Bruce et al., 2000) are limited in various ways. In this
paper, we describe the development and application of a child-
friendly version of the CFMT (Duchaine & Nakayama, 2006), a test
that is increasingly being used by researchers as a valid and
reliable assessment of face memory skills in adulthood. Here, we
show in a large group of typically developing children aged
between 5 and 12 years that the CFMT-C is sensitive to develop-
mental differences in the recognition of unfamiliar upright and
inverted faces, is sufciently reliable to provide an accurate
indication of a child's performance and is capable of detecting
difculties in face memory in children diagnosed with autism.
Together, these ndings suggest that the CFMT-C is a valid and
reliable tool for assessing face recognition in middle childhood.
As expected, we observed gradual gains in face memory skills
between 5 and 12 years of age. These ndings are consistent with
existing research showing that children's memory for faces follows
a protracted developmental course both at the behavioural (e.g.,
Carey & Diamond, 1977;Johnston & Ellis, 1995) and neural levels
(e.g., Golarai, Liberman, Yoon, & Grill-Spector 2009; Haist, Adamo,
Han Wazny, Lee, & Stiles, 2013). We also found a signicant effect
of face inversion: upright faces were recognised more accurately
than were inverted faces across all age groups.
The face inversion effect, that inversion disproportionately
impairs the recognition of faces to a greater degree than the
recognition of other classes of objects, is one of the most robust
ndings in the face processing literature and reects the purport-
edly special status of faces (Diamond & Carey, 1986;Yin, 1969). In a
seminal study, Carey and Diamond (1977) found that while 8- and
10-year-olds were much better at recognising the faces when they
were presented upright than upside-down, 6-year-olds showed no
such inversion effect. On this basis, Carey and Diamond (1977)
proposed that young children process faces in terms of individual
facial features until the age of 10 years, when there is a qualitative
shift to a more adult-like processing style involving representa-
tions of the overall facial conguration. This proposal has since
been vigorously debated in the literature (e.g., see Crookes and
McKone (2009),Mondloch, Le Grand, and Maurer (2002),Pellicano
and Rhodes (2003), and Pellicano, Rhodes, and Peters (2006)).
Crookes and McKone (2009) have highlighted that when studies
have reported differences in the magnitude of child and adult
inversion effects (e.g., Brace et al., 2001; Carey & Diamond, 1977),
these effects may be attributable to the presence of ceiling and
oor effects. Indeed, when efforts are made to avoid such effects,
children as young as 3 years show the classic inversion effect
(Sangrigoli & de Schonen, 2004, Experiment 3; see also Pascalis,
Demont, de Haan, and Campbell (2001)).
The absence of a signicant interaction between version
(upright, inverted) and age group in the current study provides
further evidence of no age-related changes in the size of the
inversion effect at least between the ages of 5 and 12 years and
accords with other ndings challenging qualitative differences in
the way that younger and older children recognise faces (e.g., see
Pellicano et al. (2006) and Crookes and McKone (2009)). Instead,
the mechanisms responsible for face processing appear to be
mature in early childhood, with developmental improvements in
face memory skills potentially arising from more general gains in
memory, attention and processing speed (Crookes & McKone,
2009; though see Mondloch, Le Grand, and Maurer (2010), for an
alternative view).
We also assessed the validity of the CFMT-C by administering it
to children with autism, a neurodevelopmental condition that
affects the way an individual interacts with and experiences the
world around them (American Psychiatric Association, 2013).
Some key early indicators, including limited eye contact, poor
social orienting, and reduced social responsiveness (Dawson,
Webb, & McPartland, 2005; Zwaigenbaum et al., 2005), have led
some researchers to suggest that face processing difculties and
sociocognitive impairments more broadly might be at the core of
autism (Dawson et al., 2005; Schultz, 2005). A recent review of 90
experiments investigating face processing in autism suggested
that, on average, autistic individuals perform signicantly worse
than typical individuals on tasks tapping face recognition (Weigelt
Table 2
Descriptive statistics for chronological age, measures of intellectual functioning,
autistic symptomatology and upright CFMT-C scores (% correct) in each group
Children with
autism (n¼44)
Children without
autism (n¼44)
Age (in months)
M (SD) 128.52 (19.42) 127.80 (20.80)
Range 90155 91 155
Verbal IQ
M (SD) 99.27 (14.75) 101.45 (8.90)
Range 61131 8212 0
Performance IQ
M (SD) 98.36 (11.50) 98.77 (11.50)
Range 73129 66123
M (SD) 25.23 (5.48) 3.73 (3.04)
Range 1536 011
CFMT-C stage 1 (same images)
M (SD) 85.15 (14.08) 94.54 (8.54)
Range 46.67100 66.67100
CFMT-C stage 2 (novel images)
M (SD) 71.82 (16.25) 83.27 (12.02)
Range 32100 5 210 0
CFMT-C stage 3 (novel images with noise)
M (SD) 61.36 (15.19) 68.98 (14.08)
Range 3590 3595
CFMT-C total % correct
M (SD) 71.67 (12.78) 81.32 (10.18)
Range 43.4491.67 51.6798.33
Children's intellectual functioning was measured using the Wechsler Abbre-
viated Scales of Intelligence (WASI; Wechsler, 1999), standard scores reported here.
SCQ: Social Communication Questionnaire (Rutter et al., 2003).
A. Croydon et al. / Neuropsychologia 62 (2014) 6067 65
et al., 2012). Our ndings are consistent with Weigelt and
colleaguesconclusions. We showed that 7- to 12-year-olds with
autism performed signicantly worse than typical children of
similar age and ability in fact, they performed on average one
standard deviation below the mean of typical children. Further-
more, the absence of an interaction between CFMT-C stage and
group supports the view that face identity recognition might be
qualitatively similar in these children with and without autism
(Weigelt et al., 2012).
Notably, our results are in contrast with the results of one study
using the adult version of the CFMT. OHearn et al. (2010) reported
face-processing difculties in adolescents, but not in children,
with autism and concluded that face memory difculties emerge
in autism only after adolescence. It is plausible, however, that
these authors failed to identify such difculties at earlier ages
because the adult CFMT was not sufciently sensitive to detect
difculties in children (with or without autism), many of whom
seemed to perform at oor. The discrepancy between our ndings
using the modied CFMT-C and those of OHearn et al. serves to
reinforce the importance of creating valid and developmentally
appropriate measures of face identity recognition.
Importantly, the degree of face memory difculties in children
with autism is not so profound that many of them would be
considered prosopagnosic. Rather, their face-memory difculties
are reasonably subtle. The CFMT-C has been used with a handful of
young children with developmental prosopagnosia, who often
show severe face recognition problems (Wilson et al., 2010).
Future research should seek to validate further the CFMT-C with
this group of children.
In sum, these results indicate that the Cambridge Face Memory
Test Children is a valid and reliable measure of unfamiliar face
recognition ability that is sensitive to a wide range of abilities. The
large number of typically developing children in this study
warrants condence in the results. We note here that adult face
stimuli were used in the CFMT-C to allow comparison with the
adult version of the CFMT (Duchaine & Nakayama, 2006). While
evidence exists for an other age effect, where participants are
better at recognising faces from their own rather than another age
group, the impact of such an effect in children appears to be small
(Hedges g¼.24; Rhodes & Anastasi, 2012) and, in any case, such an
effect is not an issue for this particular test because children's
scores can be compared to the normative data presented here.
Furthermore, the development of a version of the CFMT-C with
children's faces (see Dalrymple, Gomez, & Duchaine, 2012) will
allow us to test the degree of impact, if any, of the other age effect.
One limitation of the CFMT-C, just like its adult counterpart, is that
the same faces are used for the upright and inverted tasks,
precluding the possibility of using the task to examine the degree
of the inversion effect in individual participants. Nevertheless, the
test, which is freely available for research purposes, will unques-
tionably prove useful for those wanting to examine patterns of
ability and disability in face processing in children and to compare
face identity recognition performance across laboratory sites and
across populations.
This paper is in memory of Dr Andy Calder, a mentor and
friend, whose dedication to the highest quality scientic research
in face processing was unsurpassed. We are very grateful to the
children, families and school staff who kindly took part in this
research. Thanks also to Laura Dixon, Louise Edgington, Marlene
Flögel, Emma Jaquet, Lydia King, Elena Klaric, Catherine Manning,
Romina Palermo, Gill Rhodes, Erica Salomone, Martin Thirkettle
and Ellie Wilson for help with data collection and to Marc Stears
for comments on a previous version of this manuscript. Research
at the Centre for Research in Autism and Education (CRAE) is also
supported by The Clothworkers' Foundation and Pears Foundation.
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... We also recruited controls matched in chronological age and verbal and non-verbal abilities. Participants completed the Cambridge Face Memory Test for children (CFMT-Kids) -a test designed to identify potential deficits in face recognition (Dalrymple, Gomez, & Duchaine, 2012). Participants also completed a passive viewing task with photographs of upright faces, inverted faces, and upright houses, while their evoked potentials to visual stimuli were recorded using dense array electroencephalography (EEG). ...
... The CFMT-Kids (Dalrymple et al., 2012) was used to examine participants' face recognition abilities. The passive viewing ERP task used 25 photographs of male adult faces and 25 photographs of female adult faces showing direct gaze. ...
... Face recognition. Participants completed the CFMT-Kids -a face recognition task designed to identify face recognition deficits in children (Dalrymple et al., 2012). During the task, participants were seated approximately 40cm away from a 13.5inch laptop monitor. ...
Full-text available
Autism spectrum disorders are characterized by deficits in social and communication abilities. While unaffected relatives lack severe deficits, milder impairments have been reported in some first-degree relatives. The present study sought to verify whether mild deficits in face perception are evident among the unaffected younger siblings of children with ASD. Children between 6-9 years of age completed a face-recognition task and a passive viewing ERP task with face and house stimuli. Sixteen children were typically developing with no family history of ASD, and 17 were unaffected children with an older sibling with ASD. Findings indicate that, while unaffected siblings are comparable to controls in their face-recognition abilities, unaffected male siblings in particular show relatively enhanced P100 and P100-N170 peak-to-peak amplitude responses to faces and houses. Enhanced ERPs among unaffected male siblings is discussed in relation to potential differences in neural network recruitment during visual and face processing.
... We also predicted that face masks will alter holistic processing in children as was previously observed for adults. To test these predictions, we used the Cambridge Face Memory Test-Kids (CFMT-K; Dalrymple et al., 2012), which is considered a reliable test of face recognition abilities in children. The main advantage of using this test for children is that its difficulty has been adjusted from the adult version of the CFMT test, making it a perfect candidate for comparing the effects of face masks across the two populations. ...
... The CFMT-K (Dalrymple et al., 2012) was used to assess face perception abilities in the group of children and in one group of adults. The CFMT-K is based on the adult version of the task (Duchaine & Nakayama, 2006). ...
Full-text available
Face perception is considered a remarkable visual ability in humans that is subject to a prolonged developmental trajectory. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, mask-wearing has become mandatory for adults and children alike. Recent research shows that mask-wearing hinders face recognition abilities in adults, but it is unknown if the same holds true in school-age children in whom face perception is not fully developed. Here we tested children (n = 72, ages 6–14 years old) on the Cambridge Face Memory Test – Kids (CFMT-K), a validated measure of face perception performance. Faces were presented with or without masks and across two orientations (upright/inverted). The inclusion of face masks led to a profound deficit in face perception abilities. This decrement was more pronounced in children compared to adults, but only when task difficulty was adjusted across the two age groups. Additionally, children exhibited reliable correlations between age and the CFMT-K score for upright faces for both the mask and no-mask conditions. Finally, as previously observed in adults, children also showed qualitative differences in the processing of masked versus non-masked faces. Specifically, holistic processing, a hallmark of face perception, was disrupted for masked faces as suggested by a reduced face-inversion effect. Together, these findings provide evidence for substantial quantitative and qualitative alterations in the processing of masked faces in school-age children.
... We also predicted that face mask will alter holistic processing in children as was previously observed for adults. To test these predictions, we used the Cambridge Face Memory Test -Kids (CFMT-K; Dalrymple et al., 2012), which is considered a reliable test of face recognition abilities in children. In this test, children are asked to recognize children's faces across increasing levels of difficulty. ...
... The CFMT-K was used to assess face perception abilities (Dalrymple et al., 2012). The CFMT-K is based on the adult version of the task (Duchaine & Nakayama, 2006). ...
Full-text available
Face perception is considered a remarkable visual ability in humans, which is subject to a prolonged developmental trajectory. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, mask-wearing has become mandatory for adults and children alike. However, previous research indicates its adverse effects on face recognition abilities in adults. The current study sought to explore the effect of masks on face processing abilities in school-age children given that face perception is not fully developed in this population. To this end, children (n = 72, ages 6-14 years old) completed the Cambridge Face Memory Test – Kids (CFMT-K), a validated measure of face perception performance. Faces were presented with or without masks and across two orientations (upright/inverted). The inclusion of face masks led to a profound deficit in face perception abilities. This decrement was more pronounced in children compared to adults, despite adjustment of task difficulty across the two age groups. Additionally, children exhibited reliable correlations between age and the CFMT score for upright faces for both the mask and no-mask conditions. Finally, as previously observed in adults, children also showed qualitative changes in the processing of masked faces. Specifically, holistic processing, a hallmark of face perception, was disrupted for masked faces, as suggested by a reduced face-inversion effect. Together, these findings provide evidence for substantial quantitative and qualitative alterations in the processing of masked faces in school-age children.
... Because domain-specific developmental rates have been shown to differ between memory and perception (Weigelt et al., 2014), face tasks in the current study involved memory-based as well as perceptual representations of faces. Long-term memory for faces was measured using a version of the famous face questionnaire and was compared with short-term memory measured by the Cambridge Face Memory Test-Kids (CFMT-K) task (Dalrymple, Gomez, & Duchaine, 2012). To determine whether age-related changes in the CFMT task were specific to faces, performance was directly compared with that in a shoe discrimination task that was otherwise identical. ...
... Short-term memory for faces was tested using the CFMT (Duchaine & Nakayama, 2006) for half of the adults group (n ¼ 30). The CFMT-K (Dalrymple et al., 2012), an adapted version that uses children's faces to prevent the own-age bias in children (Golarai, Liberman, & Grill-Spector, 2015;Perfect & Moon, 2005;Wright & Stroud, 2002), was used for the other half of the adults group (n ¼ 30) and for all groups of children. The test is composed of three blocks in ascending levels of difficulty. ...
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Recent studies on the development of face processing argue for a late, quantitative, domain-specific development of face processing, and face memory in particular. Most previous findings were based on separately tracking the developmental course of face perception skills, comparing performance across different age groups. Here, we adopted a different approach studying the mechanisms underlying the development of face processing by focusing on how different face skills are interrelated over the years (age 6 to adulthood). Specifically, we examined correlations within and between different categories of tasks: face domain-specific skills involving face recognition based on long-term representations (famous face), and short-term memory retention (Cambridge Face Memory Test), perceptual face-specific marker (inversion effect), global effects in scene perception (global–local task), and the perception of facial expressions. Factor analysis revealed that face identity skills have a similar pattern of interrelations throughout development, identifying two factors: a face domain-specific factor comprising adultlike markers of face processing and a general factor incorporating related, but nonspecific perceptual skills. Domain-specific age-related changes in face recognition entailing short- and long-term retention of face representations were observed, along with mature perceptual face-specific markers and more general perceptual effects predicting face perception skills already at age 6. The results suggest that the domain-specific changes in face processing are unlikely to result from developmental changes in perceptual skills driving face recognition. Instead, development may either involve improvement in the ability to retain face representations in memory or changes in the interactions between the perceptual representations of faces and their representations in long-term memory.
... Dans une nouvelle expérience, dont les résultats ne sont pas encore publiés, Stajduhar, Ganel, Avidan, Rosenbaum et Freud (in press) ont testé 72 enfants âgés de 6 à 14 ans (M = 10.7, ET = 2.3) à l'aide du CFMT-K, une version du CFMT spécifiquement destinée aux enfants (Cambridge Face Memory Test -Kids ; Dalrymple, Gomez & Duchaine, 2012). Les participants étaient à nouveau répartis aléatoirement entre la condition « sans masque » (n = 35) et condition « avec masque » (n = 37) et comme précédemment, les visages étaient présentés selon deux orientations : droite (visages à l'endroit) et inversée (visages avec la tête en bas). ...
The COVID-19 pandemic has led many governments to make the wearing of masks mandatory in the public space to limit the spread of the Coronavirus throughout the world. The implementation of such a health measure has raised many concerns and questions among the general population. What does research on this issue show? Recent research, which has been difficult to carry out given the health context, is few and far between, but has revealed two major results. The first one is that facial recognition abilities are significantly impaired in adults and children when faces are masked compared to unmasked faces, but with a more significant impact on children. The second result shows that recognition of facial expressions is possible but impaired for faces wearing a mask, and all the more so when children are young.
... Thus, their difficulties were regarded as developmental in origin. All children attended a screening session at Bournemouth University and, following existing protocols 8,44 were identified as meeting the diagnostic criteria for DP if they performed atypically on the following tests. ...
Full-text available
Developmental prosopagnosia (DP) is characterised by a severe and relatively selective deficit in face recognition, in the absence of neurological injury. Because public and professional awareness of DP is low, many adults and children are not identified for formal testing. This may partly result from the lack of appropriate screening tools that can be used by non-experts in either professional or personal settings. To address this issue, the current study sought to (a) explore when DP can first be detected in oneself and another, and (b) identify a list of the condition's everyday behavioural manifestations. Questionnaires and interviews were administered to large samples of adult DPs, their unaffected significant others, and parents of children with the condition; and data were analysed using inductive content analysis. It was found that DPs have limited insight into their difficulties, with most only achieving realisation in adulthood. Nevertheless, the DPs' reflections on their childhood experiences, together with the parental responses, revealed specific indicators that can potentially be used to spot the condition in early childhood. These everyday hallmark symptoms may aid the detection of individuals who would benefit from objective testing, in oneself (in adults) or another person (for both adults and children).
... 34 While the original version of this test used only adult Caucasian faces, other versions have been created, such as the CFMT-Chinese, 35 CFMT-Australian, 36 and pediatric versions, such as the CFMT-C 37 and the CFMT-Kids. 38 Tests that use anonymous faces like the CFMT have the advantage that, as none of the faces are familiar to subjects prior to learning, all subjects taking the test have the same degree of short-term familiarity with the faces seen during the test. Tests of familiarity for famous faces are also used, but such tests depend on the person having seen those celebrities before, and are therefore affected by age, education, and cultural background. ...
Full-text available
Direct link to the Dove Press article can be found here: Prosopagnosia is a selective visual agnosia characterized by the inability to recognize the identity of faces. There are both acquired forms secondary to brain damage and developmental forms without obvious structural lesions. In this review, we first discuss the diagnosis of acquired and developmental prosopagnosia, and the challenges present in the latter case. Second, we discuss the evidence regarding the selectivity of the prosopagnosic defect, particularly in relation to the recognition of other objects, written words (another visual object category requiring high expertise), and voices. Third, we summarize recent findings about the structural and functional basis of prosopagnosia from studies using magnetic resonance imaging, functional magnetic resonance imaging, and event-related potentials. Finally, we discuss recent attempts at rehabilitation of face recognition in prosopagnosia.
... To avoid possible 'other-race effects' the face stimuli used in the assessments were also Caucasian. Children were assessed for general cognitive functioning (Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence -II (WASI-II), and with two tests of face memory (Cambridge Face Memory Test -Kids (Dalrymple, Gomez & Duchaine, 2012b); Old/New Faces), one test of face perception (Dartmouth Face Perception Test), and two tests of face detection (Faces Among Non-Faces, Faces Among Face Parts). We will first describe and present results from the tests of face memory and perception, and then tests of face detection. ...
Developmental prosopagnosia (DP) is defined by severe face recognition difficulties due to the failure to develop the visual mechanisms for processing faces. The two-process theory of face recognition (Morton & Johnson, 1991) implies that DP could result from a failure of an innate face detection system; this failure could prevent an individual from then tuning higher-level processes for face recognition (Johnson, 2005). Work with adults indicates that some individuals with DP have normal face detection whereas others are impaired. However, face detection has not been addressed in children with DP, even though their results may be especially informative because they have had less opportunity to develop strategies that could mask detection deficits. We tested the face detection abilities of seven children with DP. Four were impaired at face detection to some degree (i.e. abnormally slow, or failed to find faces) while the remaining three children had normal face detection. Hence, the cases with impaired detection are consistent with the two-process account suggesting that DP could result from a failure of face detection. However, the cases with normal detection implicate a higher-level origin. The dissociation between normal face detection and impaired identity perception also indicates that these abilities depend on different neurocognitive processes. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
... Children were assessed in their homes for general cognitive functioning (IQ, Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence -II) [11], autistic tendencies (Autism-Spectrum Quotient -Adolescent Version [12], Children's Version [13]), face recognition deficits using the Cambridge Face Memory Test-Kids (CFMT-K) [14] and the Dartmouth Face Perception Test (DFPT), and for object memory using the Cambridge Bicycle Memory Test (CBMT). The CBMT is matched to the CFMT-K in format and difficulty. ...
Objective : Individuals with developmental prosopagnosia (‘face blindness’) have severe face recognition difficulties due to a failure to develop the necessary visual mechanisms for recognizing faces. These difficulties occur in the absence of brain damage and despite normal low-level vision and intellect. Adults with developmental prosopagnosia report serious personal and emotional consequences from their inability to recognize faces, but little is known about the psychosocial consequences in childhood. Given the importance of face recognition in daily life, and the potential for unique social consequences of impaired face recognition in childhood, we sought to evaluate the impact of developmental prosopagnosia on children and their families. Methods : We conducted semi-structured interviews with 8 children with developmental prosopagnosia and their parents. A battery of face recognition tests was used to confirm the face recognition impairment reported by the parents of each child. We used thematic analysis to develop common themes among the psychosocial experiences of children with developmental prosopagnosia and their parents. Results : Three themes were developed from the child reports: 1) awareness of their difficulties, 2) coping strategies, such as using non-facial cues to identify others, and 3) social implications, such as discomfort in, and avoidance of, social situations. These themes were paralleled by the parent reports and highlight the unique social and practical challenges associated with childhood developmental prosopagnosia. Conclusion : Our findings indicate a need for increased awareness and treatment of developmental prosopagnosia to help these children manage their face recognition difficulties and to promote their social and emotional wellbeing.
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Does face recognition ability mature early in childhood (early maturation hypothesis) or does it continue to develop well into adulthood (late maturation hypothesis)? This fundamental issue in face recognition is typically addressed by comparing child and adult participants. However, the interpretation of such studies is complicated by children's inferior test-taking abilities and general cognitive functions. Here we examined the developmental trajectory of face recognition ability in an individual differences study of 18-33 year-olds (n = 2,032), an age interval in which participants are competent test takers with comparable general cognitive functions. We found a positive association between age and face recognition, controlling for nonface visual recognition, verbal memory, sex, and own-race bias. Our study supports the late maturation hypothesis in face recognition, and illustrates how individual differences investigations of young adults can address theoretical issues concerning the development of perceptual and cognitive abilities. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved).
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Developmental prosopagnosia (DP) is defined by severe face recognition problems resulting from a failure to develop the necessary visual mechanisms for processing faces. While there is a growing literature on DP in adults, little has been done to study this disorder in children. The profound impact of abnormal face perception on social functioning and the general lack of awareness of childhood DP can result in severe social and psychological consequences for children. This review discusses possible aetiologies of DP and summarizes the few cases of childhood DP that have been reported. It also outlines key objectives for the growth of this emerging research area and special considerations for studying DP in children. With clear goals and concerted efforts, the study of DP in childhood will be an exciting avenue for enhancing our understanding of normal and abnormal face perception for all age groups.
Newborn infants have a bias to look at faces, in particular the eye region. Whether this is due to an innate face template or is the result of more general visual preferences, this early bias facilitates the development of specialization for faces by ensuring that the developing brain receives visual input from faces. Indeed, postnatal changes in face recognition abilities are assumed to arise from experience. However, despite an abundance of exposure to faces during infancy and early childhood, both neural and behavioral markers of face expertise suggest that perceptual tuning for faces is a gradual process, such that adult-like face recognition does not emerge until adolescence. In particular, children are impaired at recognizing faces under different transformations in appearance, they process faces in a piecemeal fashion rather than holistically, and they are less sensitive to second-order relations between face features. © 2010 by Isabel Gauthier, Michael J. Tarr, and Daniel Bub. All rights reserved.
There is developmental progression in the ability to recognize human faces (HF) during childhood, accompanied by qualitative differences in what children perceive and remember. The best known example is that of sensitivity to vertical orientation: while there is age-related improvement in recognizing upright faces, upside-down ones show no recognition improvement. It is believed by some investigators to be a sign of developing face-expertise over the first 10 years or so of life. If expertise, based on experience with many individuals, is the basis for the development of the inversion-effect, faces from other species should not induce inversion-effects. In two experiments, we explored the expertise phenomenon by testing recognition of faces of different animal species with children between 5 and 10 years of age. Our results failed to show any developmental changes in the processing of faces of own- and other-species. Copyright © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
The major objective of this textbook is to improve the knowledge, understanding, and practices of persons who construct tests, take tests, or merely ponder over the meaning and value of test scores. [This] edition is designed primarily as a text for college students. It may also serve as a source of information and procedures for professional psychologists, educators, and other individuals who use tests and test results. The material in the book is appropriate for a 1-semester course in testing assessment at the undergraduate or beginning graduate level in psychology or education. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Compared memory for faces with memory for other classes of familar and complex objects which, like faces, are also customarily seen only in 1 orientation (mono-oriented). Performance of 4 students was tested when the inspection and test series were presented in the same orientation, either both upright or both inverted, or when the 2 series were presented in opposite orientations. The results show that while all mono-oriented objects tend to be more difficult to remember when upside-down, faces are disproportionately affected. These findings suggest that the difficulty in looking at upside-down faces involves 2 factors: a general factor of familiarity with mono-oriented objects, and a special factor related only to faces. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)