The Dartmouth Database of Children's Faces: acquisition and validation of a new face stimulus set

PLoS One. 2013 Nov 14;8(11):e79131. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0079131. eCollection 2013.


Facial identity and expression play critical roles in our social lives. Faces are therefore frequently used as stimuli in a variety of areas of scientific research. Although several extensive and well-controlled databases of adult faces exist, few databases include children's faces. Here we present the Dartmouth Database of Children's Faces, a set of photographs of 40 male and 40 female Caucasian children between 6 and 16 years-of-age. Models posed eight facial expressions and were photographed from five camera angles under two lighting conditions. Models wore black hats and black gowns to minimize extra-facial variables. To validate the images, independent raters identified facial expressions, rated their intensity, and provided an age estimate for each model. The Dartmouth Database of Children's Faces is freely available for research purposes and can be downloaded by contacting the corresponding author by email.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Databases, Factual*
  • Face*
  • Facial Expression*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Models, Biological*

Grants and funding

The work was supported by the following: Economic and Social Research Council, UK:; Kaminsky Family Grant, Dartmouth College:; Neukom Institute Grant, Dartmouth College: The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.