Mark H. Johnson

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Three aspects of the development of visual orienting in infants of 2, 3, and 4 months of age are examined in this paper. These are the age of onset and sequence of development of (1) the ability to readily disengage gaze from a stimulus, (2) the ability to consistently show "anticipatory" eye movements, and (3) the ability to use a central cue to predict(More)
Recent functional imaging, neuropsychological and electrophysiological studies on adults have provided evidence for a fast, low-spatial-frequency, subcortical face-detection pathway that modulates the responses of certain cortical areas to faces and other social stimuli. These findings shed light on an older literature on the face-detection abilities of(More)
There is a continuing debate in developmental neuroscience about the importance of activity-dependent processes. The relatively delayed rate of development of the human brain, compared with that of other mammals, might make it more susceptible to the influence of postnatal experience. The human infant is well adapted to capitalize on this opportunity(More)
Goren, Sarty, and Wu (1975) claimed that newborn infants will follow a slowly moving schematic face stimulus with their head and eyes further than they will follow scrambled faces or blank stimuli. Despite the far-reaching theoretical importance of this finding, it has remained controversial and been largely ignored. In Experiment 1 we replicate the basic(More)
The 'eye contact effect' is the phenomenon that perceived eye contact with another human face modulates certain aspects of the concurrent and/or immediately following cognitive processing. In addition, functional imaging studies in adults have revealed that eye contact can modulate activity in structures in the social brain network, and developmental(More)
Newborn infants respond preferentially to simple face-like patterns, raising the possibility that the face-specific regions identified in the adult cortex are functioning from birth. We sought to evaluate this hypothesis by characterizing the specificity of infants' electrocortical responses to faces in two ways: (1) comparing responses to faces of humans(More)
Bronson (1974) reviewed evidence in support of the claim that the development of visually guided behavior in the human infant over the first few months of life represents a shift from subcortical to cortical visual processing. Recently, this view has been brought into question for two reasons; first, evidence revealing apparently sophisticated perceptual(More)
Evidence from newborns leads to the conclusion that infants are born with some information about the structure of faces. This structural information, termed CONSPEC, guides the preference for facelike patterns found in newborn infants. CONSPEC is contrasted with a device termed CONLERN, which is responsible for learning about the visual characteristics of(More)
Making eye contact is the most powerful mode of establishing a communicative link between humans. During their first year of life, infants learn rapidly that the looking behaviors of others conveys significant information. Two experiments were carried out to demonstrate special sensitivity to direct eye contact from birth. The first experiment tested the(More)
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)