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Perceptual Narrowing in Speech and Face Recognition: Evidence for Intra-individual Cross-Domain Relations

Krasotkina, Anna ; Götz, Antonia ; Höhle, Barbara ; Schwarzer, Gudrun

Originalveröffentlichung: (2018) Frontiers in Psychology 9(1711) doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01711
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URN: urn:nbn:de:hebis:26-opus-146500

Freie Schlagwörter (Englisch): perceptual narrowing , perceptual reorganization , other-race effect , face perception , speech perception
Sammlung: Open Access - Publikationsfonds
Universität Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen
Institut: Department of Developmental Psychology
Fachgebiet: Psychologie
DDC-Sachgruppe: Psychologie
Dokumentart: Aufsatz
Sprache: Englisch
Erstellungsjahr: 2018
Publikationsdatum: 22.05.2019
Kurzfassung auf Englisch: During the first year of life, infants undergo perceptual narrowing in the domains of speech and face perception. This is typically characterized by improvements in infants abilities in discriminating among stimuli of familiar types, such as native speech tones and same-race faces. Simultaneously, infants begin to decline in their ability to discriminate among stimuli of types with which they have little experience, such as non-native tones and other-race faces. The similarity in time-frames during which perceptual narrowing seems to occur in the domains of speech and face perception has led some researchers to hypothesize that the perceptual narrowing in these domains could be driven by shared domain-general processes. To explore this hypothesis, we tested 53 Caucasian 9-month-old infants from monolingual German households on their ability to discriminate among non-native Cantonese speech tones, as well among same-race German faces and other-race Chinese faces. We tested the infants using an infant-controlled habituation-dishabituation paradigm, with infants preferences for looking at novel stimuli versus the habituated stimuli (dishabituation scores) acting as indicators of discrimination ability. As expected for their age, infants were able to discriminate between same-race faces, but not between other-race faces or non-native speech tones. Most interestingly, we found that infants dishabituation scores for the non-native speech tones and other-race faces showed significant positive correlations, while the dishabituation scores for non-native speech tones and same-race faces did not. These results therefore support the hypothesis that shared domain-general mechanisms may drive perceptual narrowing in the domains of speech and face perception.
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