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Recognizing the same face in different contexts: Testing within-person face recognition in typical development and in autism

Neil, LE; (2016) Recognizing the same face in different contexts: Testing within-person face recognition in typical development and in autism. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology , 143 pp. 139-153. 10.1016/j.jecp.2015.09.029. Green open access

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Abstract

Unfamiliar face recognition follows a particularly protracted developmental trajectory and is more likely to be atypical in children with autism than those without autism. There is a paucity of research, however, examining the ability to recognize the same face across multiple naturally varying images. Here, we investigated within-person face recognition in children with and without autism. In Experiment 1, typically developing 6- and 7-year-olds, 8- and 9-year-olds, 10- and 11-year-olds, 12- to 14-year-olds, and adults were given 40 grayscale photographs of two distinct male identities (20 of each face taken at different ages, from different angles, and in different lighting conditions) and were asked to sort them by identity. Children mistook images of the same person as images of different people, subdividing each individual into many perceived identities. Younger children divided images into more perceived identities than adults and also made more misidentification errors (placing two different identities together in the same group) than older children and adults. In Experiment 2, we used the same procedure with 32 cognitively able children with autism. Autistic children reported a similar number of identities and made similar numbers of misidentification errors to a group of typical children of similar age and ability. Fine-grained analysis using matrices revealed marginal group differences in overall performance. We suggest that the immature performance in typical and autistic children could arise from problems extracting the perceptual commonalities from different images of the same person and building stable representations of facial identity.

Type: Article
Title: Recognizing the same face in different contexts: Testing within-person face recognition in typical development and in autism
Location: UK
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.jecp.2015.09.029
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jecp.2015.09.029
Language: English
Additional information: © 2015 Benova et al. Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Keywords: Face perception; Face recognition; Autism; Identity; Children; Development
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Social Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1473262
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