No other race effect (ORE) for infant face recognition: A memory task
The aim of this study was to investigate how the other-race and baby schema effects interacted during face perception and recognition processes. 384 pictures representing Caucasian and non-Caucasian faces of infants and adults were shown to 24 Caucasian adult participants in an old/new recognition task. EEG/ERPs were recorded during face encoding and a successive memory session.
ERP data showed a baby schema effect on N170, anterior N2 and P300 responses, which were larger to infant than adult faces, regardless of ethnicity. Conversely, an ORE was found, but only for adults faces, with N170 and N400 being larger to Caucasian than non-Caucasian adult faces. Consistently, reaction times were faster to unfamiliar faces of Caucasian than non-Caucasian adults, while no ORE was found for infants. SwLORETA, applied to the difference-waves (Caucasian - non Caucasian) elicited by adults faces (ORE), showed the strong activation of areas representing person-related information (i.e., inferior temporal gyrus), prejudice representation (i.e., the superior and middle frontal gyri), and theory of mind (i.e., the supramarginal gyrus and superior parietal lobe). The lack of ethnicity effect for infants faces is discussed in the light of their innate collative and attention capturing properties.