Developmental commonalities between object and face recognition in adolescence

Martin Jüttner, Ellie Wakui, Dean D Petters, Jules Davidoff

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


In the visual perception literature, the recognition of faces has often been contrasted with that of non-face objects, in terms of differences with regard to the role of parts, part relations and holistic processing. However, recent evidence from developmental studies has begun to blur this sharp distinction. We review evidence for a protracted development of object recognition that is reminiscent of the well-documented slow maturation observed for faces. The prolonged development manifests itself in a retarded processing of metric part relations as opposed to that of individual parts and offers surprising parallels to developmental accounts of face recognition, even though the interpretation of the data is less clear with regard to holistic processing. We conclude that such results might indicate functional commonalities between the mechanisms underlying the recognition of faces and non-face objects, which are modulated by different task requirements in the two stimulus domains.
Original languageEnglish
Article number385
Number of pages8
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2016

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2016 Jüttner, Wakui, Petters and Davidoff. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or 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.

Funding: ESRC (grant RES-062-0167); and Heidehofstiftung (grant 50302.01/4.10)


  • development
  • object recognition
  • face recognition
  • categorical
  • metric
  • part
  • configural
  • holistic


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