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Master of Science (M.S.)
Year Degree Awarded
Month Degree Awarded
infant, perceptual narrowing, other-race effect, emotion
The theory of perceptual narrowing posits that the ability to make perceptual discriminations is very broad early in development and subsequently becomes more specific with perceptual experience (Scott, Pascalis, & Nelson, 2007). This leads to the formation of biases (Pascalis et al., 2002; 2005; Kelly et al., 2007), including the other-race effect (ORE). Behavioral and electrophysiological measures are used to show that by 9-months-of-age, infants exhibit a decline in ability to distinguish between two faces from another race compared to two faces from within their own race. Significant differences in the P400 component revealed a dampening of response to other-race compared to same-race faces for 9-month-olds only. More negative N290 amplitudes in response to happy compared to sad faces were found for 5-month-olds only. Nine-month-olds did not show different responses based on emotion, indicating that race was interfering with the processing of emotion.
Lisa S Scott
Andrew L. Cohen