Face race influences the way we process faces, so that faces of a different ethnic group are processed for identity less efficiently than faces of one's ethnic group - a phenomenon known as the Other-Race Effect (ORE). Although widely repli- cated, the ORE is still poorly characterized in terms of its development and the underlying mechanisms. In the last two decades, the Event-Related Potential (ERP) technique has brought insight into the mechanisms underlying the ORE and has demonstrated potential to clarify its development. Here, we review the ERP evidence for a differential neural processing of own-race and other-race faces throughout the lifespan. In infants, race-related processing differences emerged at the N290 and P400 (structural encoding) stages. In children, race affected the P100 (early processing, attention) perceptual stage and was implicitly encoded at the N400 (semantic processing) stage. In adults, processing difficulties for other- race faces emerged at the N170 (structural encoding), P200 (configuration pro- cessing) and N250 (accessing individual representations) perceptual stages. Early in processing, race was implicitly encoded from other-race faces (N100, P200 attentional biases) and in-depth processing preferentially applied to own-race faces (N200 attentional bias). Encoding appeared less efficient (Dm effects) and retrieval less recollection-based (old/new effects) for other-race faces. Evidence admits the contribution of perceptual, attentional, and motivational processes to the development and functioning of the ORE, offering no conclusive support for perceptual or socio-cognitive accounts. Cross-racial and non-cross-racial studies provided convergent evidence. Future research would need to include less repre- sented ethnic populations and the developmental population.
Neural timing of the other-race effect across the lifespan: A review / Serafini, Luana; Pesciarelli, Francesca. - In: PSYCHOPHYSIOLOGY. - ISSN 1469-8986. - (2022), pp. 1-46. [10.1111/psyp.14203]