Perceptual Learning: 12-Month-Olds' Discrimination of Monkey Faces

Joseph Fair, Ross Flom, Jacob Jones, Justin Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Six-month-olds reliably discriminate different monkey and human faces whereas 9-month-olds only discriminate different human faces. It is often falsely assumed that perceptual narrowing reflects a permanent change in perceptual abilities. In 3 experiments, ninety-six 12-month-olds' discrimination of unfamiliar monkey faces was examined. Following 20s of familiarization, and two 5-s visual-paired comparison test trials, 12-month-olds failed to show discrimination. However, following 40s of familiarization and two 10-s test trials, 12-month-olds showed reliable discrimination of novel monkey faces. A final experiment was performed demonstrating 12-month-olds' discrimination of the monkey face was due to the increased familiarization rather than increased time of visual comparison. Results are discussed in the context of perceptual narrowing, in particular the flexible nature of perceptual narrowing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1996-2006
Number of pages11
JournalChild development
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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