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Specialization of neural mechanisms underlying face recognition in human infants

de Haan, M; Pascalis, O; Johnson, MH; (2002) Specialization of neural mechanisms underlying face recognition in human infants. J COGNITIVE NEUROSCI , 14 (2) 199 - 209. Green open access

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Abstract

Newborn infants respond preferentially to simple face-like patterns, raising the possibility that the face-specific region, 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 with those to faces of nonhuman primates; and 2) comparing responses to upright and inverted faces. Adults' face-responsive N170 event-related potential (ERP) component showed specificity to upright human faces that was not observable at any point in the ERPs Of infants. A putative "infant N170" did show sensitivity to the species of the face, but the orientation of the face did not influence processing until a later stage. These findings suggest a process of gradual specialization of cortical face processing systems during postnatal development.

Type: Article
Title: Specialization of neural mechanisms underlying face recognition in human infants
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Keywords: UPSIDE-DOWN FACES, DEVELOPMENTAL-CHANGES, BRAIN POTENTIALS, VISUAL-CORTEX, PERCEPTION, REPRESENTATION, INVERSION, MEMORY, N170, EYE
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health > Developmental Neurosciences Dept
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/8431
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