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Dev Psychol. 2002 Nov;38(6):1038-51.

Children's recognition of caricatures.

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This study examined children's and adults' perception and recognition of facial stimuli that were either systematically exaggerated (caricatures) or de-exaggerated (anticaricatures) relative to a norm face. The results showed that all age groups perceived caricatures as the most distinctive versions of a face and anticaricatures as the least distinctive, although the effect was smallest for 6-year-olds. In general, caricatures were identified as quickly as the veridical faces and faster than the anticaricatures. Across all age groups, participants' familiarity with the stimulus faces interacted with degree of caricature to determine speed of processing as well as choice of best likeness. The results are discussed in relation to the idea that distinctiveness information in a face is represented in relation to a norm.

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