The other-race effect in infancy: Evidence using a morphing technique

Angela Hayden, Ramesh S. Bhatt, Jane E. Joseph, James W. Tanaka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


Human adults are more accurate at discriminating faces from their own race than faces from another face. This other-race effect (ORE) has been characterized as a reflection of face processing specialization arising from differential experience with own-race faces. We examined whether 3.5-month-old infants exhibit ORE using morphed faces on which adults had displayed a crossover ORE (i.e., Caucasians performed better on Caucasian faces and Asians performed better on Asian faces). In this experiment, Caucasian infants who had grown up in a predominantly Caucasian environment discriminated 100% Caucasian faces from 70% Caucasian/30% Asian morphed faces but failed to discriminate between the corresponding 100% Asian and 70% Asian/30% Caucasian faces. Thus, 3.5-month-olds exhibited evidence of ORE. These results indicate that at least by 3.5 months of age, infants have attained enough face processing expertise to process familiar-race faces in a different manner than unfamiliar-race faces.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-104
Number of pages10
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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