Bandwidths for the perception of head orientation decrease during childhood

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid

Abstract

Adults use the orientation of people’s heads as a cue to the focus of their attention. We examined developmental changes in mechanisms underlying sensitivity to head orientation during childhood. Eight-, 10-, 12-year-olds, and adults were adapted to a frontal face view or a 20Symbol left or right side view before judging the orientation of a face at or near frontal. After frontal adaptation, there were no age differences in judgments of head orientation. However, after adaptation to a 20Symbol left or right side view, aftereffects were larger and sensitivity to head orientation was lower in 8- and 10-year-olds than in adults, with no difference between 12-year-olds and adults. A computational model indicates that these results can be modeled as a consequence of decreasing neural tuning bandwidths and decreasing additive internal noise during childhood, and/or as a consequence of increasing inhibition during childhood. These results provide the first evidence that neural mechanisms underlying sensitivity to head orientation undergo considerable refinement during childhood.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles