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Exercise 2 - Effects of early experience on children’s recognition of facial displays

Pollak, S. D. & Sinah, P. (2002). Effects of early experience on children’s recognition of facial displays of emotion. Developmental Psychology,38(5). Retrieved January 25, 2006 from http://web.mit.edu/bcs/sinha/papers/effects_early_experience_devpsych.pdf

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Abstract

(1) The present research examines visual perception in both typical and atypical developments. (2) To examine the processes by which perceptual mechanisms become attuned to the contingencies of affective signals in the environment, the authors measured the sequential, content-based properties of feature detection in emotion recognition processes. (3) To evaluate the role of experience, they compared typically developing children with physically abused children, who were presumed to have experienced high levels of threat or hostility. (4) As predicted, physically abused children accurately identified facial displays of anger on the basis of less sensory input than did controls, which suggests that physically abused children have facilitated access to representations of anger. (5) The findings are discussed in terms of experiential processes in perceptual learning.

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