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The ability to detect and prefer a face when embedded in complex visual displays was investigated in 3- and 6-month-old infants, as well as in adults, through a modified version of the visual search paradigm and the recording of eye movements. Participants (N=43) were shown 32 visual displays that comprised a target face among 3 or 5 heterogeneous objects(More)
Holistic face processing was investigated in newborns, 3-month-old infants, and adults through a modified version of the composite face paradigm and the recording of eye movements. After familiarization to the top portion of a face, participants (N = 70) were shown 2 aligned or misaligned faces, 1 of which comprised the familiar top part. In the aligned(More)
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(More)
Despite evidence supporting an early attraction to human faces, the nature of the face representation in neonates and its development during the first year after birth remain poorly understood. One suggestion is that an early preference for human faces reflects an attraction toward human eyes because human eyes are distinctive compared with other animals.(More)
To what extent are filial responses the outcome of spontaneous or acquired preferences? The case of domestic chicks illustrates the connection between predisposed and learned knowledge in early social responses. In the absence of specific experience, chicks prefer to approach objects that are more similar to natural social partners (e.g. they prefer(More)
Some key behavioural traits of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) have been hypothesized to be due to impairments in the early activation of subcortical orienting mechanisms, which in typical development bias newborns to orient to relevant social visual stimuli. A challenge to testing this hypothesis is that autism is usually not diagnosed until a child is at(More)
Self-propelled motion is a powerful cue that conveys information that an object is animate. In this case, animate refers to an entity's capacity to initiate motion without an applied external force. Sensitivity to this motion cue is present in infants that are a few months old, but whether this sensitivity is experience-dependent or is already present at(More)
There are several lines of evidence which suggests that, since birth, the human system detects social agents on the basis of at least two properties: the presence of a face and the way they move. This chapter reviews the infant research on the origin of brain specialization for social stimuli and on the role of innate mechanisms and perceptual experience in(More)
The original version of this Article contained an error in the spelling of the author Maria Luisa Scattoni which was incorrectly given as Scattoni Maria Luisa. These errors have now been corrected in the PDF and HTML versions of the Article. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party(More)
The present study investigates whether the walking direction of a biological motion point-light display can trigger visuo-spatial attention in 6-month-old infants. A cueing paradigm and the recording of eye movements in a free viewing condition were employed. A control group of adults took part in the experiment. Participants were presented with a central(More)
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