Face recognition in beginning readers: Investigating the potential relationship between reading and face recognition during the first year of school

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Reading acquisition has been suggested to drive the lateralization of the face processing system to the right cerebral hemisphere. To investigate whether this developmental co-dependency has a behavioural cost, at least in the short run, we tested whether learning to read reduced face recognition ability. In a longitudinal design, 82 children (5?7 years) were tested twice, at the beginning and end of their first year in school. In both sessions, visual letter recognition, word recognition, sentence reading, and immediate face recognition were tested. Reliable increases were found across all four measures, suggesting no absolute cost of literacy acquisition on face processing efficiency. In addition, we found no evidence suggesting a negative relationship between literacy acquisition and face recognition performance. Indeed, our results were most supportive of the null hypothesis suggesting independence in the development of literacy and face processing skills on the behavioural level.
TidsskriftVisual Cognition
Udgave nummer4
Sider (fra-til)213-224
Antal sider12
StatusUdgivet - 2021

ID: 257190358