Facial Processing
We are examining face processing in  infants and are interested in whether human faces are processed in a special way compared to other types of faces. Specifically, we are investigating if human faces capture infants’ attention more quickly than primate faces and mammal faces. Infants will view a series of pictures containing many objects (ex. cars and houses) and either a human face, primate face, or mammal face. We will monitor how quickly infants find the face among objects. This study aims to help us learn more about the development of cognitive processing of faces during infancy.
Ages: 3, 5, and 11 months old
Time commitment: About 30 minutes

In the fall, we will begin a study with toddlers, in which we will start to explore which specific features of faces capture attention.  Toddlers will look at pictures of faces and objects on a screen, and we will monitor how quickly they find the faces among the objects.



Simpson, E., Buchin, Z., Werner, K., Worrell, R., & Jakobsen, K.V. (2014). Finding faces among faces: Human faces are located more quickly and accurately than other primate and mammal faces. Attention, Perception, and Psychophysics. Advance online publication. doi: 10.3758/s13414-014-0744-x    PDF

Simpson, E., Husband, H. L., Yee, K., & Fullerton, A., Jakobsen, K.V. (2014). Visual Search Efficiency is Greater for Human Faces Compared to Animal Faces. Experimental Psychology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1027/1618-3169/a000263.       PDF

Jakobsen, K. V., Simpson, E. A., Umstead, L., Perta, A., Eisenmann, V., & Cover, S. (2013, May).   Human faces capture attention more efficiently than animal faces in complex visual arrays. Poster presented at the Association for Psychological Sciences Convention, Washington, D.C.     PDF

Jakobsen, K.V., Mertins, H., Wilson, E., & Dunay, B., Simpson, E. A. (2012, May).  How general is attention capture?  Poster presented at the Association for Psychological Sciences Convention, Chicago, Illinois.     PDF

Simpson, E., Varga, K., Frick, J., & Fragaszy, D. (2011). Infants experience perceptual narrowing for non-primate faces.  Infancy16, 18-28. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-7078.2010.00052.x  PDF

Simpson, E. A., Varga, K., Frick, J. E., & Fragaszy, D. (2011, March).  Developmental changes in animal face discrimination.  Poster presented at the Society of Research in Child Development, Montreal, Canada.     PDF

Simpson, E., Varga, K., & Frick, J. (2009, October).  Infant and adult face discrimination beyond primates: Perceptual narrowing of facial identity.  Poster presented at the Cognitive Development Society Conference, San Antonio, Texas.     PDF