The Detection of Face-like Stimuli at the Edge of the Infant Visual Field

Capparini, Chiara and To, Michelle and Reid, Vincent (2022) The Detection of Face-like Stimuli at the Edge of the Infant Visual Field. Brain Sciences, 12 (4). ISSN 2076-3425

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Human infants are highly sensitive to social information in their visual world. In laboratory settings, researchers have mainly studied the development of social information processing using faces presented on standard computer displays, in paradigms exploring face-to-face, direct eye contact social interactions. This is a simplification of a richer visual environment in which social information derives from the wider visual field and detection involves navigating the world with eyes, head and body movements. The present study measured 9-month-old infants’ sensitivities to face-like configurations across mid-peripheral visual areas using a detection task. Upright and inverted face-like stimuli appeared at one of three eccentricities (50°, 55° or 60°) in the left and right hemifields. Detection rates at different eccentricities were measured from video recordings. Results indicated that infant performance was heterogeneous and dropped beyond 55°, with a marginal advantage for targets appearing in the left hemifield. Infants’ orienting behaviour was not influenced by the orientation of the target stimulus. These findings are key to understanding how face stimuli are perceived outside foveal regions and are informative for the design of infant paradigms involving stimulus presentation across a wider field of view, in more naturalistic visual environments.

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Journal Article
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Brain Sciences
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19 Apr 2022 09:10
Last Modified:
20 Sep 2023 01:51