Face Recognition is Shaped by the Use of Sign Language

Autor/a: STOLL, Chloé; PALLUEL-GERMAIN, Richard; CALDARA,Roberto; LAO, Junpeng; DYE, Matthew W. G.; APTEL, Florent; PASCALIS, Olivier
Año: 2017
Editorial: The Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education (2017)
Tipo de código: Copyright
Soporte: Digital




Previous research has suggested that early deaf signers differ in face processing. Which aspects of face processing are changed and the role that sign language may have played in that change are however unclear. Here, we compared face categorization (human/non-human) and human face recognition performance in early profoundly deaf signers, hearing signers, and hearing non-signers. In the face categorization task, the three groups performed similarly in term of both response time and accuracy. However, in the face recognition task, signers (both deaf and hearing) were slower than hearing non-signers to accurately recognize faces, but had a higher accuracy rate. We conclude that sign language experience, but not deafness, drives a speed–accuracy trade-off in face recognition (but not face categorization). This suggests strategic differences in the processing of facial identity for individuals who use a sign language, regardless of their hearing status.