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Automatic orienting towards face-like stimuli in early childhood

By Punit Shah, S. Sowden, F. Happe, Richard Cook and Geoffrey Bird


Newborn infants orient preferentially toward face-like or “protoface” stimuli and recent studies suggest similar reflexive orienting responses in adults. Little is known, however, about the operation of this mechanism in childhood. An attentional-cueing procedure was therefore developed to investigate protoface orienting in early childhood. Consistent with the extant literature, 5- to 6-year-old children (n = 25) exhibited orienting toward face-like stimuli; they responded faster when target location was cued by the appearance of a protoface stimulus than when location was cued by matched control patterns. The potential of this procedure to investigate the development of typical and atypical social perception is discussed

Topics: psyc
Publisher: Wiley
Year: 2015
OAI identifier:

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