Developmental commonalities between object and face recognition in adolescence

Martin Jüttner, Elley Wakui, Dean Petters and Jules Davidoff

In the visual perception literature, the recognition of faces has often been contrasted with that of non-face objects, in terms of differences with regard to the role of parts, part relations and holistic processing. However, recent evidence from developmental studies has begun to blur this sharp distinction. We review evidence for a protracted development of object recognition that is reminiscent of the well-documented slow maturation observed for faces. The prolonged development manifests itself in a retarded processing of metric part relations as opposed to that of individual parts and offers surprising parallels to developmental accounts of face recognition, even though the interpretation of the data is less clear with regard to holistic processing. We conclude that such results might indicate functional commonalities between the mechanisms underlying the recognition of faces and non-face objects, which are modulated by different task requirements in the two stimulus domains.

Keywords: development, object recognition, face recognition, categorical, metric, part, configural, holistic

Jüttner, M., Wakui, E., Petters, D. & Davidoff, J. (2016). Developmental commonalities between object and face recognition in adolescence. Frontiers in Psychology 7: 385.