Birthweight predicts individual differences in adult face recognition ability

Bate, S, Mestry, N, Atkinson, M, Bennetts, R.J and Hills, P.J (2021) 'Birthweight predicts individual differences in adult face recognition ability.' British Journal of Psychology, 112 (3). pp. 628-644. ISSN 0007-1269

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It has long been known that premature birth and/or low birthweight can lead to general difficulties in cognitive and emotional functioning throughout childhood. However, the influence of these factors on more specific processes has seldom been addressed, despite their potential to account for wide individual differences in performance that often appear innate. Here, we examined the influence of gestation and birthweight on adults’ face perception and face memory skills. Performance on both sub-processes was predicted by birthweight and birthweight-for-gestation, but not gestation alone. Evidence was also found for the domain-specificity of these effects: No perinatal measure correlated with performance on object perception or memory tasks, but they were related to the size of the face inversion effect on the perceptual test. This evidence indicates a novel, very early influence on individual differences in face recognition ability, which persists into adulthood, influences face-processing strategy itself, and may be domain-specific.

Item Type: Article
UN SDGs: Goal 3: Good Health and Well-Being
Keywords: birth weight, face perception, face recognition, gestation, individual differences
Divisions: School of Sciences
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Date Deposited: 08 Aug 2023 16:07
Last Modified: 08 Aug 2023 16:07
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