- Differences between old and young adults’ ability to recognize human faces underlie processing of horizontal information (2012)
- Recent psychophysical research supports the notion that horizontal information of a face is primarily important for facial identity processes. Even though this has been demonstrated to be valid for young adults, the concept of horizontal information as primary informative source has not yet been applied to older adults’ ability to correctly identify faces. In the current paper, the role different filtering methods might play in an identity processing task is examined for young and old adults, both taken from student populations. Contrary to most findings in the field of developmental face perception, only a near-significant age effect is apparent in upright and un-manipulated presentation of stimuli, whereas a bigger difference between age groups can be observed for a condition which removes all but horizontal information of a face. It is concluded that a critical feature of human face perception, the preferential processing of horizontal information, is less efficient past the age of 60 and is involved in recognition processes that undergo age-related decline usually found in the literature.
- Infants in control: Rapid anticipation of action outcomes in a gaze-contingent paradigm (2012)
- Infants' poor motor abilities limit their interaction with their environment and render studying infant cognition notoriously difficult. Exceptions are eye movements, which reach high accuracy early, but generally do not allow manipulation of the physical environment. In this study, real-time eye tracking is used to put 6- and 8-month-old infants in direct control of their visual surroundings to study the fundamental problem of discovery of agency, i.e. the ability to infer that certain sensory events are caused by one's own actions. We demonstrate that infants quickly learn to perform eye movements to trigger the appearance of new stimuli and that they anticipate the consequences of their actions in as few as 3 trials. Our findings show that infants can rapidly discover new ways of controlling their environment. We suggest that gaze-contingent paradigms offer effective new ways for studying many aspects of infant learning and cognition in an interactive fashion and provide new opportunities for behavioral training and treatment in infants.
- The other-race effect in 3-year-old German and Cameroonian children (2014)
- Recognizing individual faces is an important human ability that highly depends on experience. This is reflected in the so called other-race effect; adults are better at recognizing faces from their own ethnic group, while very young infants do not show this specialization yet. Two experiments examined whether 3-year-old children from two different cultural backgrounds show the other-race effect. In Experiment 1, German children (N = 41) were presented with a forced choice paradigm where they were asked to recognize female Caucasian or African faces. In Experiment 2, 3-year-olds from Cameroon (N = 66) participated in a similar task using the same stimulus material. In both cultures the other-race effect was present; children were better at recognizing individual faces from their own ethnic group. In addition, German children performed at a higher overall level of accuracy than Cameroonians. The results are discussed in relation to cultural aspects in particular.
- Die Stärken im Alter entdecken : Expertenwissen, implizites Gedächtnis und Trainingserfolge (2007)
- Bei der Mehrzahl der Menschen in unserem Kulturkreis ist Altern mit unguten Erwartungen verknüpft, mit besorgten Vorstellungen über die Verminderung oder den Verfall des physischen wie psychischen Leistungsvermögens. Jeder kennt Alternsschicksale, Menschen, die in Krankheit, Vereinsamung und Armut altern. Altern in einem Umfeld, in dem Begriffe wie »Altenplage«, »Rentnerschwemme« und »sozialverträgliches Frühableben« (Unwörter der Jahre 1995, 1996, 1998) entstehen, erscheint besonders schwer erträglich. Demgegenüber findet sich in der Gerontologie häufig ein verklärtes Alternsbild, indem etwa auf Künstler oder Wissenschaftler hingewiesen wird, die auch hochaltrig höchste Leistungen vollbracht haben und dies teilweise trotz körperlicher Gebrechen. Tizian, Giuseppe Verdi, Ludwig van Beethoven, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Hans-Georg Gadamer oder Ernst Bloch werden hier genannt. Zudem wird das Alter gerühmt als ein Lebensabschnitt, in dem die alltäglichen Zwänge fortgefallen, das rastlose Streben, die zermürbenden Kämpfe, Rivalitäten und Feindschaften überwunden sind. Ähnliche Altersbeschreibungen haben eine lange Tradition, beispielsweise bei Platon. Wer hätte Zweifel, dass beide Alternsbilder zuträfen? ...