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

Christina D. Kühn, Inge L. Wilms, Kirsten A. Dalrymple, Christian Gerlach, Randi Starrfelt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)213-224
Number of pages12
JournalVisual Cognition
Volume29
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We wish to thank the participants and the research assistants collecting data. This work was supported by a grant from the Synoptik-Foundation under Grant number 10-9283 to I.W., The Friends of Fakutsi Association (FFA), and The Independent Research Fund Denmark under Grant number 4001-00115 to C.G. and R.S.

Funding Information:
This work was supported by Synoptik-Foundation: [grant number 10-9283]; The Independent Research Fund Denmark: [grant number 4001-00115]. We wish to thank the participants and the research assistants collecting data. This work was supported by a grant from the Synoptik-Foundation under Grant number 10-9283 to I.W., The Friends of Fakutsi Association (FFA), and The Independent Research Fund Denmark under Grant number 4001-00115 to C.G. and R.S.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Keywords

  • Cognitive development
  • face recognition
  • letter naming
  • reading
  • word recognition

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