In infancy, the developmental time course of the other-race effect is dependent on face gender

DIANA SU YUN THAM, J.G. Bremner, Dennis Hay

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28 Citations (Scopus)
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Poorer recognition of other-race faces relative to own-race faces is well documented from late infancy to adulthood. Research has revealed an increase in the other race effect (ORE) during the first year of life, but there is some disagreement regarding the age at which it emerges. Using cropped faces to eliminate discrimination based on external features, visual paired comparison and spontaneous visual preference measures were used to investigate the relationship between ORE and face gender at 3-4 and 8-9 months. Caucasian-White 3- to 4-month-olds' discrimination of Chinese, Malay, and Caucasian-White faces showed an own-race advantage for female faces alone whereas at 8-9 months the own-race advantage was general across gender. This developmental effect is accompanied by a preference for female over male faces at 4 months and no gender preference at 9 months. The pattern of recognition advantage and preference suggests that there is a shift from a female-based own-race recognition advantage to a general own-race recognition advantage, in keeping with a visual and social experience-based account of ORE.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-138
Number of pages8
JournalInfant Behavior and Development
Early online date2 Jul 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2015


  • the other-race effect
  • face gender
  • infancy
  • Face recognition


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