Project Detail
Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) logo
Office of Autism Research Coordination (OARC) logo

The development of face processing  

The primary goal of this research is to examine how experience contributes to the development and neural bases of face processing. The overarching hypothesis is that experience with faces recruits specific neural circuits that become specialized for processing faces. A specific model of how experience influences the development of face processing – perceptual narrowing – will be the focus of this series of studies in infants and children. Event-related potentials will be used to measure how the timing, dose, and duration of different types of experience (viewing faces of unfamiliar species, gender, age, race, etc.) influence the development and neural bases of face processing. The premise behind these studies is that the perceptual window through which faces are viewed is broadly tuned at birth and narrows with experience. To examine the developmental function of this perceptual narrowing, studies will also be performed to ascertain whether the perceptual window can be kept open with training. Project Status


Funder National Institutes of Health
Fiscal Year Funding $529,515.00
Project Number 5R01MH078829-13
Principal Investigator Nelson, Charles
Received ARRA Funding? No
Strategic Plan Question Question 1: When Should I Be Concerned? (Diagnosis)
Strategic Plan Objective Green dot: Objective has greater than or equal to the recommended funding. 1SB. Validate and improve the sensitivity and specificity of new or existing screening and diagnostic tools, including comparison of general developmental screening versus autism-specific screening tools, in both high risk and population-based samples through studies of the following community populations that are diverse in terms of age, socio-economic status, race, ethnicity, characteristics of ASD, and general level of functioning by 2012. IACC Recommended Budget: $5,400,000 over 3 years.
Federal or Private? Federal
Institution Children's Hospital Boston
State/Country Massachusetts
Web Link 1 The development of face processing (External web link)
Web Link 2 No URL available.
Web Link 3 No URL available.
History/Related Projects The development of face processing | $516,410.00 | 2008 | R01MH078829-12
The development of face processing | $512,804.00 | 2010 | 5R01MH078829-14