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Development of holistic vs. featural processing in face recognition

Liu, Chang Hong; Nakabayashi, Kazuyo


Chang Hong Liu


According to a classic view developed by Carey and Diamond (1977), young children process faces in a piecemeal fashion before adult-like holistic processing starts to emerge at the age of around 10 years. This is known as the encoding switch hypothesis. Since then, a growing body of studies have challenged the theory. This article will provide a critical appraisal of this literature, followed by an analysis of some more recent developments. We will conclude, quite contrary to the classical view, that holistic processing is not only present in early child development, but could even precede the development of part-based processing.


Liu, C. H., & Nakabayashi, K. (2014). Development of holistic vs. featural processing in face recognition. Frontiers in human neuroscience, 8(OCT), Article ARTN 831.

Journal Article Type Review
Acceptance Date Sep 30, 2014
Online Publication Date Oct 20, 2014
Publication Date Oct 20, 2014
Deposit Date Nov 17, 2015
Publicly Available Date Nov 23, 2017
Journal Frontiers in human neuroscience
Print ISSN 1662-5161
Electronic ISSN 1662-5161
Publisher Frontiers Media
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 8
Issue OCT
Article Number ARTN 831
Keywords Holistic processing, Part processing, Developmental face recognition, Children, Encoding switch, Holistic interference, Part-whole paradigm
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This document is protected by copyright and was first published by Frontiers. All rights reserved. it is reproduced with permission.


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Copyright Statement
© 2014 Nakabayashi and Liu. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution and reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

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