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There is currently no agreement as to how specific or general are the mechanisms underlying newborns' face preferences. We address this issue by manipulating the contrast polarity of schematic and naturalistic face-related images and assessing the preferences of newborns. We find that for both schematic and naturalistic face images, the contrast polarity is(More)
From birth, infants prefer to look at faces that engage them in direct eye contact. In adults, direct gaze is known to modulate the processing of faces, including the recognition of individuals. In the present study, we investigate whether direction of gaze has any effect on face recognition in four-month-old infants. Four-month infants were shown faces(More)
We investigated newborns' sensitivity to the direction of gaze of another's face by using a preferential looking technique. This study extends earlier work on a preference for faces with direct gaze in newborns. In Experiment 1, we replicate the basic finding of Farroni and colleagues that newborns prefer to look at faces with direct gaze. In Experiments 2(More)
The ability of newborns to discriminate and respond to different emotional facial expressions remains controversial. We conducted three experiments in which we tested newborns' preferences, and their ability to discriminate between neutral, fearful, and happy facial expressions, using visual preference and habituation procedures. In the first two(More)
In the task-switching paradigm, reaction time is longer and accuracy is worse in switch trials relative to repetition trials. This so-called switch cost has been ascribed to the engagement of control processes required to alternate between distinct stimulus-response mapping rules. Neuroimaging studies have reported an enhanced activation of the human(More)
Faces are important for non-verbal communication in daily life, and eye gaze direction provides important information for adult–infant interaction. Four-month-old infants and adults better recognize faces when accompanied with direct gaze, suggesting a special status of 'eye contact'. Whether mutual gaze plays a role in face recognition from birth, or(More)
In this study, 4-month-old infants' and adults' spontaneous preferences for emotional and neutral displays with direct and averted gaze are investigated using visual preference paradigms. Specifically, by presenting two approach-oriented emotions (happiness and anger) and two avoidance-oriented emotions (fear and sadness), we asked whether the pattern of(More)
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