Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Clin Neurophysiol. 1999 May;110(5):910-5.

ERP evidence of developmental changes in processing of faces.

Author information

  • 1Centre de Recherche Cerveau et Cognition UMR 5549, CNRS - Université Paul Sabatier, Faculté de Médecine de Rangueil, Toulouse, France.



There is disagreement in the behavioural literature, as to whether face processing undergoes qualitative or quantitative change with age.


We studied event-related potentials (ERPs) associated with facial processing in 48 children (4-14 years) and 12 adults. Five categories of stimuli were presented: faces, cars, scrambled faces, scrambled cars, butterflies. The butterflies were targets (P = 12%); the other stimulus categories were equally represented and all were non-targets.


An N170 was recorded only to the faces at posterior temporal sites and in adults it was largest at T6'. This component was seen across age groups, but at steadily increasing latencies in younger children. Age-related increases in N170 amplitude were found at T6'. In children under 12 years of age, the frontal P170 was not reliably seen.


This study suggests that the underlying neural basis associated with processing faces matures in a gradual, quantitative manner throughout childhood.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Support Center