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Developmental differences in holistic interference of facial part recognition

Nakabayashi, Kazuyo; Liu, Chang Hong


Kazuyo Nakabayashi

Chang Hong Liu


Silvana Allodi


Research has shown that adults' recognition of a facial part can be disrupted if the part is learnt without a face context but tested in a whole face. This has been interpreted as the holistic interference effect. The present study investigated whether children of 6- and 9-10-year-olds would show a similar effect. Participants were asked to judge whether a probe part was the same as or different from a test part whereby the part was presented either in isolation or in a whole face. The results showed that while all the groups were susceptible to a holistic interference, the youngest group was most severely affected. Contrary to the view that piecemeal processing precedes holistic processing in the cognitive development, our findings demonstrate that holistic processing is already present at 6 years of age. It is the ability to inhibit the influence of holistic information on piecemeal processing that seems to require a longer period of development into at an older and adult age.


Nakabayashi, K., & Liu, C. H. (2013). Developmental differences in holistic interference of facial part recognition. PLoS ONE, 8(10), e77504.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 11, 2013
Online Publication Date Oct 31, 2013
Publication Date Oct 31, 2013
Deposit Date Jan 4, 2016
Publicly Available Date Nov 23, 2017
Journal PLoS ONE
Print ISSN 1932-6203
Electronic ISSN 1932-6203
Publisher Public Library of Science
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 8
Issue 10
Pages e77504
Keywords Face recognition; Children; Holistic interference
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Copy of article first published in: PLoS ONE, 2013, v.8, issue 10, e77504.


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Copyright Statement
© 2013 Nakabayashi, Liu. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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