Cathy Mondloch

Professor , Ph.D. (Indiana U.)

Office: MC B320
905 688 5550 x5111

2015: Brock University Award for Distingulished Research

Associate Investigator, Australian Research Council Center of Excellence in Cognition & Its Disorders

Developmental psychology
Perceptual Expertise

  • perceptual development
  • development of expert face processing
  • sensitivity to emotional expressions
  • role of early visual experience

Faces convey a wealth of information in our daily social interactions – information about the identity of individuals, their emotions, as well as their age and race. Sensitivity to each of these cues is important for successful social interactions. Research in my lab sits at the intersection of development, perception, cognition, and social psychology. In collaboration with undergraduate students, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and collaborators from around the world, I investigate multiple aspects of face processing.

With funding from SSHRC, we are investigating the development of sensitivity to emotional expressions, the influence of context (e.g., background scenes, body posture, face race) on adults’ and children’s perception of facial displays of emotion, and how children use facial expressions to understand what is happening during live social interactions.

With funding from NSERC, we are studying the development of norm-based coding, the influence of group membership (e.g., in-group versus out-group; own- versus other-race) on face perception, the perception of young versus older adult faces, and the ability to recognize facial identity across natural variation in appearance. We work with participants aged 3 to 90 years to study how face perception changes across the lifespan.

With cutting-edge technology (e.g., eye trackers; 3D cameras) funded by Canada Foundation for Innovation, we are able to address these research questions in innovative ways.

Our work has important implications for special populations (e.g., individuals with autism) and for eyewitness testimony (as evidenced in our involvement with the TV show, To Catch a Killer). Please visit our lab WEB page for more information.

Please visit our lab WEB page for a complete list

Perceiving Emotions

Nelson+, N., & Mondloch, C.J. Adults’ and children’s perception of facial expressions is influenced by body postures—Even for dynamic stimuli. Visual Cognition, in press. [Nelson was a postdoc in our lab.]

Mondloch, C.J., Nelson+, N.L.,  & Horner+, M.  (2013). Asymmetries of influence: Differential effects of body postures on perceptions of emotional facial expressions. PLoS ONE, 8(9): e73605. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0073605 [Nelson was a postdoc in our lab; Horner was an MA student]

Mondloch, C.J., Horner, M., & Mian, J. (2013). Wide eyes and drooping arms: Adult-like congruency effects emerge early in the development of sensitivity to emotional faces and body postures. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 114, 203-216.  [Horner & Mian were MA and Honours students, respectively]

Cote, K. A. Mondloch, C.J., Serveeva, V., Taylor M., & Semplonius, T. (2013). Impact of total sleep deprivation on behavioural neural processing of emotionally expressive faces. Experimental Brain Research, Published on line, Dec 8.

Mondloch, C.J. (2012). Sad or fearful? The influence of body posture on adults’ and children’s perception of facial displays of emotion. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 111, 180-196.

Recognizing Faces When Appearance (e.g., hairstyle, make-up) Varies

Baker+, K.A., Laurence+, S., & Mondloch, C.J. (2017). How does a newly encountered face become familiar? The effect of within-person variability on adults’ and children’s perception of identity. Cognition, 161, 19 – 30. [Baker is an MA student; Laurence was a postdoc in our lab.]

Laurence+, S., & Mondloch, C.J. (2016). That’s my teacher! Children’s Ability to Recognize Personally Familiar and Unfamiliar Faces Improves with Age. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 143, 123-138. [Laurence was a postdoctoral fellow.]

Laurence+, S., Zhou+, X. & Mondloch, C.J. (2016). The flip side of the other-race coin: They all look different to me. British Journal of Psychology, 107, 374-388. [Laurence as a postdoctoral fellow; Zhou is a PhD student.]

The Development of Norm-based Coding

Zhou+, X., Short+, L., Chan+, H., & Mondloch, C.J. (2016). Judging normality and attractiveness in faces: Direct evidence of a more refined representation for own-race, young adult faces. Perception, 45, 973-990 [Zhou and Short were PhD students; Chan was a high school mentorship student.]

Short, L.A., Mondloch, C.J., Hackland, A. (2015). Attractiveness judgments and discrimination of mommies and grandmas: Perceptual tuning for young adult faces. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology,129, 1-11. [Short was a phD student; Hackland was an Honours Thesis student].

Short, L.A., Lee, K., Fu, G., & Mondloch, C.J. (2014). Category-specific face prototypes are emerging, but not yet mature, in 5-year-old children. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 126, 161-177. [Short was a PhD student].

Short, L.A., Hatry, A.J., & Mondloch, C.J. (2011). The development of norm-based coding and race-specific face prototypes: An examination of 5- and 8-year-olds’ face space. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology108, 338-357. [Short is a PhD student; Hatry was an MA student]

Cross-Race Effects

Zhou+, X. & Mondloch, C.J. (2016). Recognizing “Bella Swan” and “Hermione Granger”: No own-race advantage for recognizing photos of famous faces. Perception, online. 10.1177/0301006616662046 [Zhou is a PhD student.]

Semplonius, T., & Mondloch, C.J. (2015). Attentional biases and recognition accuracy: What happens when multiple own- and other-race faces are encountered simultaneously? Perception, 44, 52-71.

Short, L.A., Mondloch, C.J., McCormick, C.M., Carre, J.C., Ma, R., Fu, G., & Lee, K. (2012). Detection of propensity for aggression based on facial structure irrespective of face race. Evolution and Human Behaviour,33, 121-129. [Short is a PhD student]

Perceiving Older Faces

Short+, L., Semplonius+, T., Proietti+, V., & Mondloch, C.J. (2015). Differential attentional allocation and subsequent recognition for young and older adult faces. Visual Cognition, 22, 1272-1295.

Proietti+, V., Macchi Cassia, V., & Mondloch, C.J. (2015). The own-Age face recognition bias is task dependent. British Journal of Psychology, DOL: 10.1111/bjop.12104.

Short+, L.A.  & Mondloch, C.J. (2013). Aging faces and aging perceivers: Young and older adults are less sensitive to deviations from normality in older than in young adult faces. Perception, 42, 795 – 812. [Short is a PhD student]

Neural Mechanisms [A series of collaborative projects]: 

Grady, C., Mondloch, C.J., Lewis, T.L., & Maurer, D. (2014) Early visual deprivation from congenital cataracts disrupts activity and functional connectivity in the face network. Neuropsychologia, 57, 122-39

Fu, G., Mondloch, C.J., Ding, X-P., Short+, L., Sun, L., Lee, K. (2014). The Neural Correlates of the Face Attractiveness Aftereffect: A Functional Near-infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS) Study. NeuroImage, 85, 363 – 371.  [A collaborative project conducted during a visit to China]

Zheng*, S., Mondloch, C.J., & Segalowitz, S. (2012). The timing of individual face recognition in the brain. Neuropsychologia, 50, 1451-1461. [A collaborative project at Brock]

Effects of Early Visual Deprivation [In collaboration with Daphne Maurer, McMaster]

Mondloch, C.J., Segalowitz, S.J., Lewis, T.L., Dywan, J., Le Grand, R., & Maurer, D. (2013). The Effect of Early Visual Deprivation on the Development of Face Detection. Developmental Science, 16, 728-742.

Mondloch, C.J., Lewis, T.L., Levin, A.V., & Maurer, D. (2013). Infant face preferences after binocular deprivation. International Journal of Behavioural Development, 37, 148-153.

Robbins, R.A., Maurer, D., Hatry, A., Anzures, G., & Mondloch, C.J. (2012). Effects of normal and abnormal visual experience on the development of opposing aftereffects for upright and inverted faces. Developmental Science, 15(2), 194-203. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-7687.2011.01116.x

Trait Perception [A collaborative project at Brock]:

Carre, JM, Morrissey, MD, Mondloch, CJ, McCormick, CM (2010). Estimating aggression from emotionally neutral faces: Which facial cues are diagnostic? Perception, 39:356-377.

Carre, J., McCormick, C., & Mondloch, C.J. (2009). Facial structure is a reliable cue of aggressive behaviour. Psychological Science20, 1994-1998.

Interplay between Identity and Emotion Perception

Mian, J.F., & Mondloch, C.J. (2012). Recognizing identity in the face of change: The development of an expression-independent representation of facial identity. Journal of Vision, 12, 1-11. [Mian was an Honours student]

Vida, M., & Mondloch, C.J. (2009). Children’s representations of facial expression and identity: Identity-contingent expression aftereffects. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 104, 326-345. [Vida was an Honours student]

Two Foundational Papers

Mondloch, C.J., Le Grand, R., & Maurer, D. (2002). Configural Face Processing Develops More Slowly than Featural Face Processing. Perception, 31, 553-566.

Maurer, D., Le Grand, R., & Mondloch, C.J. (2002). The Many Faces of Configural Processing. Trends in Cognitive Science, 6, 255-260.