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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)
Several research groups have identified a network of regions of the adult cortex that are activated during social perception and cognition tasks. In this paper we focus on the development of components of this social brain network during early childhood and test aspects of a particular viewpoint on human functional brain development: "interactive(More)
Various reports have demonstrated difficulties in eye-gaze processing in older children and adults with autism. However, little is known about the neural or developmental origin of such difficulties. In the present study, we used high-density Event-Related Potentials (HD-ERPs) to record the neural correlates of gaze processing in young children with autism,(More)
Previous work has shown that infants are sensitive to the direction of gaze of another's face, and that gaze direction can cue attention. The present study replicates and extends results on the ERP correlates of gaze processing in 4-month-olds. In two experiments, we recorded ERPs while 4-month-olds viewed direct and averted gaze within the context of(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)
We report a series of ten experiments aimed to investigate the newborn's ability to discriminate the components of a visual pattern and to process the visual information that specifies the global configuration of a stimulus. The results reveal that: (i) newborn babies are able to distinguish individual elements of a stimulus (experiments 1A, 1B, 1C, and(More)
Eye gaze has been shown to be an effective cue for directing attention in adults. Whether this ability operates from birth is unknown. Three experiments were carried out with 2-to 5-day-old newborns. The first experiment replicated the previous finding that newborns are able to discriminate between direct and averted gaze, and extended this finding from(More)
Event-related potentials were recorded from adults and 4-month-old infants while they watched pictures of faces that varied in emotional expression (happy and fearful) and in gaze direction (direct or averted). Results indicate that emotional expression is temporally independent of gaze direction processing at early stages of processing, and only become(More)