Neural correlates of individuation and categorization of other-species faces in infancy

Kate C. Dixon, Greg D. Reynolds, Alexandra C. Romano, Kelly C. Roth, Alexa L. Stumpe, Maggie W. Guy, Sara M. Mosteller

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Abstract

The goal of this study was to investigate 9-month-old infants' ability to individuate and categorize other-species faces at the subordinate level. We were also interested in examining the effects of initial exposure conditions on infant categorization and individuation processes. Infants were either familiarized with a single monkey face in an individuation procedure or familiarized with multiple exemplars of monkey faces from the same species in a categorization procedure. Event-related potentials were recorded while the infants were presented: familiar faces, novel faces from the familiar species, or novel faces from a novel species. The categorization group categorized monkey faces by species at the subordinate level, whereas the individuation group did not discriminate monkey faces at the individual or subordinate level. These findings indicate initial exposure to multiple exemplars facilitates infant processing of other-species faces, and infants are efficient at subordinate-level categorization at 9 months of age.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-35
Number of pages9
JournalNeuropsychologia
Volume126
Early online date3 Oct 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 18 Mar 2019

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