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    Differential face-network adaptation in children, adolescents and adults

    Kadosh, K.C. and Johnson, Mark H. and Henson, R.N.A. and Dick, Frederic and Blakemore, S.J. (2012) Differential face-network adaptation in children, adolescents and adults. NeuroImage 69 (1), pp. 11-20. ISSN 1053-8119.

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    Faces are complex social stimuli, which can be processed both at the categorical and the individual level. Behavioural studies have shown that children take more than a decade of exposure and training to become proficient at processing faces at the individual level. The neurodevelopmental trajectories for different aspects of face-processing are still poorly understood. In this study, we used an fMR-adaptation design to investigate differential processing of three face aspects (identity, expression and gaze) in children, adolescents and adults. We found that, while all three tasks showed some overlap in activation patterns, there was a significant age effect in the occipital and temporal lobes and the inferior frontal gyrus. More importantly, the degree of adaptation differed across the three age groups in the inferior occipital gyrus, a core face processing area that has been shown in previous studies to be both integral and necessary for individual-level face processing. In the younger children, adaptation in this region seemed to suggest the use of a predominantly featural processing strategy, whereas adaptation effects in the adults exhibited a more strategic pattern that depended on the task. Interestingly, our sample of adolescents did not exhibit any differential adaptation effects; possibly reflecting increased heterogeneity in processing strategies in this age group. Our results support the notion that, in line with improving behavioural face-processing abilities, core face-responsive regions develop throughout the first two decades of life.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): FMR-adaptation, face processing, development, identity, expression, gaze
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Psychological Sciences
    Research Centres and Institutes: Brain and Cognitive Development, Centre for (CBCD)
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2012 15:54
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:01


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