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Durham University

Psychology

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Publication details for Professor Deborah Riby

Slessor, G., Riby, D. M. & Finnerty, A. N. (2013). Age-related Differences in Processing Face Configuration: The Importance of the Eye Region. The Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences 68(2): 228-231.

Author(s) from Durham

Abstract

Objectives.
Recent research suggests that older adults have difficulties with aspects of configural face processing. The present study examined whether age-related declines in sensitivity to configural face information are dependent on the face region in which configural changes occur.
Method.
Younger and older adults completed a face-matching task that required the detection of configural manipulations to either the eye or the mouth regions of target faces.
Results.
Age-related declines in the ability to detect configural changes were found when the eye region of the face was modified. Importantly, no age-related differences were evident when perceiving similar changes to the mouth region.
Discussion.
Taken together, these findings suggest that age-related differences in sensitivity to configural information are specific to the eye region of the face. The potential implications of these findings for age-related difficulties in interpreting social cues from the eyes are discussed.

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