Melinder, A.M.D., Gredebäck, G., Westerlund, A., Nelson, C. (2010) Brain Activation during Upright and Inverted Encoding of Own- and Other-Age Faces: ERP Evidence for an Own-Age Bias. Developmental Science, 13, 588-598.

We investigated the neural processing underlying own-age versus other-age faces among 5-year-old children and adults, as well as the effect of orientation on face processing. Upright and inverted faces of 5-year-old children, adults, and elderly adults (> 75 years of age) were presented to participants while ERPs and eye tracking patterns were recorded concurrently. We found evidence for an own-age bias in children, as well as for predicted delayed latencies and larger amplitudes for inverted faces, which replicates earlier findings. Finally, we extend recent reports about an expert-sensitive component (P2) to other-race faces to account for similar effects in regard to other-age faces. We conclude that differences in neural activity are strongly related to the amount and quality of experience that participants have with faces of various ages. Effects of orientation are discussed in relation to the holistic hypothesis and recent data that compromise this view.