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      The Dartmouth Database of Children’s Faces: Acquisition and Validation of a New Face Stimulus Set

      1 , 2 , * , 1 , 1

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          Facial identity and expression play critical roles in our social lives. Faces are therefore frequently used as stimuli in a variety of areas of scientific research. Although several extensive and well-controlled databases of adult faces exist, few databases include children’s faces. Here we present the Dartmouth Database of Children’s Faces, a set of photographs of 40 male and 40 female Caucasian children between 6 and 16 years-of-age. Models posed eight facial expressions and were photographed from five camera angles under two lighting conditions. Models wore black hats and black gowns to minimize extra-facial variables. To validate the images, independent raters identified facial expressions, rated their intensity, and provided an age estimate for each model. The Dartmouth Database of Children’s Faces is freely available for research purposes and can be downloaded by contacting the corresponding author by email.

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          Most cited references 10

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          Is face processing species-specific during the first year of life?

           O Pascalis (2002)
          Between 6 and 10 months of age, the infant's ability to discriminate among native speech sounds improves, whereas the same ability to discriminate among foreign speech sounds decreases. Our study aimed to determine whether this perceptual narrowing is unique to language or might also apply to face processing. We tested discrimination of human and monkey faces by 6-month-olds, 9-month-olds, and adults, using the visual paired-comparison procedure. Only the youngest group showed discrimination between individuals of both species; older infants and adults only showed evidence of discrimination of their own species. These results suggest that the "perceptual narrowing" phenomenon may represent a more general change in neural networks involved in early cognition.
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            The other-race effect develops during infancy: evidence of perceptual narrowing.

            Experience plays a crucial role in the development of face processing. In the study reported here, we investigated how faces observed within the visual environment affect the development of the face-processing system during the 1st year of life. We assessed 3-, 6-, and 9-month-old Caucasian infants' ability to discriminate faces within their own racial group and within three other-race groups (African, Middle Eastern, and Chinese). The 3-month-old infants demonstrated recognition in all conditions, the 6-month-old infants were able to recognize Caucasian and Chinese faces only, and the 9-month-old infants' recognition was restricted to own-race faces. The pattern of preferences indicates that the other-race effect is emerging by 6 months of age and is present at 9 months of age. The findings suggest that facial input from the infant's visual environment is crucial for shaping the face-processing system early in infancy, resulting in differential recognition accuracy for faces of different races in adulthood.
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              Facial expressions of emotion (KDEF): identification under different display-duration conditions.

              Participants judged which of seven facial expressions (neutrality, happiness, anger, sadness, surprise, fear, and disgust) were displayed by a set of 280 faces corresponding to 20 female and 20 male models of the Karolinska Directed Emotional Faces database (Lundqvist, Flykt, & Ohman, 1998). Each face was presented under free-viewing conditions (to 63 participants) and also for 25, 50, 100, 250, and 500 msec (to 160 participants), to examine identification thresholds. Measures of identification accuracy, types of errors, and reaction times were obtained for each expression. In general, happy faces were identified more accurately, earlier, and faster than other faces, whereas judgments of fearful faces were the least accurate, the latest, and the slowest. Norms for each face and expression regarding level of identification accuracy, errors, and reaction times may be downloaded from www.psychonomic.org/archive/.

                Author and article information

                Role: Editor
                PLoS One
                PLoS ONE
                PLoS ONE
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, USA )
                14 November 2013
                : 8
                : 11
                [1 ]Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, United States of America
                [2 ]Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London, London, United Kingdom
                University of Udine, Italy
                Author notes

                Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

                Conceived and designed the experiments: KAD JG BD. Performed the experiments: KAD JG. Analyzed the data: KAD JG. Contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools: BD. Wrote the paper: KAD JG BD.


                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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                Pages: 7
                The work was supported by the following: Economic and Social Research Council, UK: http://www.esrc.ac.uk; Kaminsky Family Grant, Dartmouth College: http://www.dartmouth.edu; Neukom Institute Grant, Dartmouth College: http://www.dartmouth.edu/~neukom/. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
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