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ERIC Number: EJ992527
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Jul
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 48
ISSN: ISSN-0012-1649
Is the Face-Perception System Human-Specific at Birth?
Di Giorgio, Elisa; Leo, Irene; Pascalis, Olivier; Simion, Francesca
Developmental Psychology, v48 n4 p1083-1090 Jul 2012
The present study investigates the human-specificity of the orienting system that allows neonates to look preferentially at faces. Three experiments were carried out to determine whether the face-perception system that is present at birth is broad enough to include both human and nonhuman primate faces. The results demonstrate that the newborns did not show any spontaneous visual preference for the human face when presented simultaneously with a monkey face that shared the same features, configuration, and low-level perceptual properties (Experiment 1). The newborns were, however, able to discriminate between the 2 faces belonging to the 2 different species (Experiment 2). In Experiment 3, the newborns were found to prefer looking at an upright, compared with an inverted, monkey face, as they do for human faces. Overall, the results demonstrate that newborns perceive monkey and human faces in a similar way. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that the system underlying face preference at birth is broad enough to bias newborns' attention toward both human and nonhuman primate faces. (Contains 3 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Italy