• Category-specific face prototypes are emerging, but not yet mature, in 5-year-old children

      Short, Lindsey A.; Lee, Kang; Genyue, Fu; Mondloch, Catherine J. (Elsevier Ltd, 2014-10)
      Adults’ expertise in face recognition has been attributed to norm-based coding. Moreover, adults possess separable norms for a vari-ety of face categories (e.g., race, sex, age) that appear to enhancerecognition by reducing redundancy in the information shared byfaces and ensuring that only relevant dimensions are used toencode faces from a given category. Although 5-year-old childrenprocess own-race faces using norm-based coding, little is knownabout the organization and refinement of their face space. The cur-rent study investigated whether 5-year-olds rely on category-spe-cific norms and whether experience facilitates the development ofdissociable face prototypes. In Experiment 1, we examinedwhether Chinese 5-year-olds show race-contingent opposing after-effects and the extent to which aftereffects transfer across face raceamong Caucasian and Chinese 5-year-olds. Both participant racesshowed partial transfer of aftereffects across face race; however,there was no evidence for race-contingent opposing aftereffects.To examine whether experience facilitates the development of cat-egory-specific prototypes, we investigated whether race-contin-gent aftereffects are present among Caucasian 5-year-olds withabundant exposure to Chinese faces (Experiment 2) and thentested separate groups of 5-year-olds with two other categorieswith which they have considerable experience: sex (male/femalefaces) and age (adult/child faces) (Experiment 3). Across all threecategories, 5-year-olds showed no category-contingent opposingaftereffects. These results demonstrate that 5 years of age is a stagecharacterized by minimal separation in the norms and associated oding dimensions used for faces from different categories andsuggest that refinement of the mechanisms that underlie expertface processing occurs throughout childhood.
    • A Count of Coping Strategies

      Heffer, Taylor; Willoughby, Teena (2017)
      The present study examined the association between coping and adjustment among university students. While most research on coping focuses on identifying optimal coping strategies, the Transactional Theory of Coping highlights that adaptive coping involves an ability to adapt and change coping strategies in a way that facilitates positive adjustment (e.g., Coping Flexibility). In order to demonstrate flexibility among a variety of coping strategies, however, one must first possess a diverse range of coping strategies that they are able to use when stressed. Studies investigating the use of coping strategies typically compute means-based analyses whereby they not only investigate what strategies are used, but also how much (i.e., a little, a medium amount, a lot) each is used – a composite score then is computed based on the average frequency of use across all the strategies. As a result, this approach is unable to differentiate between individuals who use a lot of strategies infrequently and individuals who use only one or two strategies a lot. In other words, when using a means-based analysis, distinct coping patterns can present with identical means, limiting the conclusions that can be made regarding the relationship between the number of coping strategies used and adjustment. To address this limitation, the current study investigated the number of strategies that individuals use when stressed, rather than how frequently they use them (i.e., a count-based approach). A direct comparison is also made between the counts-based approach and the means-based approach in order to address whether or not counting how many strategies individuals engage in may provide different information than when taking a means-based approach. Using an autoregressive cross-lag path analysis, results revealed that when using a count-based approach, using many positive coping strategies, regardless of how often they were used, led to more positive adjustment and less negative adjustment than using a smaller number of positive coping strategies. Further, engagement in greater negative coping strategies predicted more depressive symptoms and poorer emotion regulation than engagement in fewer negative coping strategies. For the means based approach, the results for engagement in negative strategies remained consistent; however, engagement in positive coping strategies more frequently no longer predicted having better positive adjustment. This finding indicates that a count-based approach may offer a novel way to examine how the number of coping strategies individuals use can help promote positive adjustment among university students.
    • Did the UK COVID-19 Lockdown Modify the Influence of Neighbourhood Disorder on Psychological Distress? Evidence From a Prospective Cohort Study

      Teo, Celine; Kim, Chungah; Nielsen, Andrew; Young, Thomas; O'Campo, Patricia; Chum, Antony (Frontiers Media, 2021)
      National lockdown in the UK during the COVID-19 pandemic severely restricted the mobility of residents and increased time spent in their residential neighbourhoods. This is a unique opportunity to understand how an exogenous factor that reduces mobility may influence the association between neighbourhood social environment and mental health. This study investigates whether the COVID-19 lockdown may modify the effect of neighbourhood disorder on psychological distress. Methods: We tracked changes in psychological distress, using the UK household longitudinal survey across the pre-COVID and lockdown periods in 16,535 adults. Neighbourhood disorder was measured along two subscales: social stressors and property crime. Fixed-effects regression was used to evaluate whether the widespread reduction in mobility modifies the association between the subscales of neighbourhood disorder and psychological distress. Results: The effect of neighbourhood social stressors on psychological distress was stronger in the lockdown period compared to the pre-COVID period. Compared to the pre-COVID period, the effect of being in neighbourhoods with the highest social stressors (compared to the lowest) on psychological distress increased by 20% during the lockdown. Meanwhile, the effect of neighbourhood property crime on mental health did not change during the lockdown. Conclusion: The sudden loss of mobility as a result of COVID-19 lockdown is a unique opportunity to address the endogeneity problem as it relates to mobility and locational preferences in the study of neighbourhood effects on health. Vulnerable groups who have limited mobility are likely more sensitive to neighbourhood social stressors compared to the general population.
    • Differential attentional allocation and subsequent recognition for young and older adult faces

      Short, Lindsey A.; Semplonius, Thalia; Proletti, Valentina; Mondloch, Catherine J. (Taylor & Francis, 2014-10)
      Studies examining own-age recognition biases report inconsistent results and often utilize paradigms that present faces individually and in isolation. We investigated young and older adults' attention towards young and older faces during learning and whether differential attention influences recognition. Participants viewed complex scenes while their eye movements were recorded; each scene contained two young and two older faces. Half of the participants formed scene impressions and half prepared for a memory test. Participants then completed an old/new face recognition task. Both age groups looked longer at young than older faces; however, only young adults showed an own-age recognition advantage. Participants in the memory condition looked longer at faces but did not show enhanced recognition relative to the impressions condition. Overall, attention during learning did not influence recognition. Our results provide evidence for a young adult face bias in attentional allocation but suggest that longer looking does not necessarily indicate deeper encoding.
    • Judging Normality and Attractiveness in Faces: Direct Evidence of a More Refined Representation for Own-Race, Young Adult Faces

      Zhou, Xiaomei; Short, Lindsey A.; Chan, Harmonie S. J.; Mondloch, Catherine J. (Sage Publications, 2016-09)
      Young and older adults are more sensitive to deviations from normality in young than older adult faces, suggesting that the dimensions of face space are optimized for young adult faces. Here, we extend these findings to own-race faces and provide converging evidence using an attractiveness rating task. In Experiment 1, Caucasian and Chinese adults were shown own- and other-race face pairs; one member was undistorted and the other had compressed or expanded features. Participants indicated which member of each pair was more normal (a task that requires referencing a norm) and which was more expanded (a task that simply requires discrimination). Participants showed an own-race advantage in the normality task but not the discrimination task. In Experiment 2, participants rated the facial attractiveness of own- and other-race faces (Experiment 2a) or young and older adult faces (Experiment 2b). Between-rater variability in ratings of individual faces was higher for other-race and older adult faces; reduced consensus in attractiveness judgments reflects a less refined face space. Collectively, these results provide direct evidence that the dimensions of face space are optimized for own-race and young adult faces, which may underlie face race- and age-based deficits in recognition. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
    • Representing young and older adult faces: Shared or age-specific prototypes?

      Short, Lindsey A.; Proletti, Valentina; Mondloch, Catherine J. (Taylor & Francis, 2015-09)
      Young adults recognize young adult faces more accurately than older adult faces and are more sensitive to how individual young faces deviate from a norm/prototype. Here we used an adaptation paradigm to examine whether young and older adult faces are represented by separable norms and the extent to which the coding dimensions for these two categories overlap. In Experiment 1, following adaptation to oppositely distorted young and older faces (e.g., expanded young and compressed older faces), adults’ normality judgments simultaneously shifted in opposite directions for the two face categories, providing evidence for separable norms. In Experiment 2, participants were adapted to distorted faces from a single age category (e.g., compressed young); aftereffects transferred across face age but were larger for the face age that matched adaptation. Collectively, these results provide evidence that young and older faces are processed with regard to separable norms that share some underlying coding dimensions. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
    • Sex hormones play a role in vulnerability to sleep loss on emotion processing tasks

      Lustig, K. A.; Stoakley, E. M.; MacDonald, K. J.; Geniole, S. N.; McCormick, C. M.; Cote, K. A. (Elsevier, 2017-10-06)
      The central aim of this study was to investigate hormones as a predictor of individual vulnerability or resiliency on emotion processing tasks following one night of sleep restriction. The restriction group was instructed to sleep 3 a.m.–7 a.m. (13 men, 13 women in follicular phase, 10 women in luteal phase of menstrual cycle), and a control group slept 11 p.m.–7 a.m. (12 men, 12 follicular women, 12 luteal women). Sleep from home was verified with actigraphy. Saliva samples were collected on the evening prior to restriction, and in the morning and afternoon following restriction, to measure testosterone, estradiol, and progesterone. In the laboratory, event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded during presentation of images and faces to index neural processing of emotional stimuli. Compared to controls, sleep-restricted participants had a larger amplitude Late Positive Potential (LPP) ERP to positive vs neutral images, reflecting greater motivated attention towards positive stimuli. Sleep-restricted participants were also less accurate categorizing sad faces and exhibited a larger N170 to sad faces, reflecting greater neural reactivity. Sleep-restricted luteal women were less accurate categorizing all images compared to control luteal women, and progesterone was related to several outcomes. Morning testos- terone in men was lower in the sleep-restricted group compared to controls; lower testosterone was associated with lower accuracy to positive images, a greater difference between positive vs neutral LPP amplitude, and lower accuracy to sad and fearful faces. In summary, women higher in progesterone and men lower in testos- terone were more vulnerable to the effects of sleep restriction on emotion processing tasks. This study highlights a role for sex and sex hormones in understanding individual differences in vulnerability to sleep loss.
    • That's my teacher! Children's ability to recognize personally familiar and unfamiliar faces improves with age

      Laurence, Sarah; Mondloch, Catherine J. (Elsevier Ltd, 2016-03)
      Highlights •Tested children’s ability to recognize faces across natural variation in appearance.•4- to 12-year-olds were asked to find all the images of an identity.•Performance was (nearly) perfect by 6years for familiar identities.•Performance improved across the entire age range for unfamiliar identities.•Findings have implications for models of the development of face perception.
    • Transitions in Executive Function: Insights From Developmental Parallels Between Prospective Memory and Cognitive Flexibility

      Mahy, Caitlin; Munakata, Yoko (Wiley, 2015)
      As children develop, they need to remember to carry out their intentions and overcome habits to switch flexibly to new ways of behaving. Developments in these domains—prospective memory and cognitive flexibility—are essential for children to function and predict important outcomes. Prospective memory and cognitive flexibility are similar in the psychological processes proposed to support them (particularly executive functions), in how they are measured, and in the behavioral transitions observed (e.g., dissociations between actions and intentions, and nonlinear developmental trajectories). In this article, we highlight how such parallels can inform debates about the specific executive functions and types of developments that support prospective memory, cognitive flexibility, and related future‐oriented abilities, and can deepen understanding of executive function development more generally.
    • Wide eyes and drooping arms: Adult-like congruency effects emerge early in the development of sensitivity to emotional faces and body postures

      Mondloch, Catherine J.; Horner, Matthew; Mian, Jasmine (Elsevier Inc, 2013-02)
      Adults’ and 8-year-old children’s perception of emotional faces is disrupted when faces are presented in the context of incongruent body postures (e.g., when a sad face is displayed on a fearful body) if the two emotions are highly similar (e.g., sad/fear) but not if they are highly dissimilar (e.g., sad/happy). The current research investigated the emergence of this adult-like pattern. Using a sorting task, we identified the youngest age at which children could accurately sort isolated facial expressions and body postures and then measured whether their accuracy was impaired in the incongruent condition. Among the child participants, 6-year-olds showed congruency effects for sad/fear, but even 4-year-olds did not do so for sad/happy. Early emergence of this adult-like pattern is consistent with the dimensional and emotional seed models of emotion perception, although future research is needed to test the relative validity of these two models. Testing children with emotional faces presented in the context of body postures and background scenes is an important step toward understanding how they perceive emotions on a daily basis.