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Megumi Kobayashi, Yumiko Otsuka, Emi Nakato, So Kanazawa, Masami K. Yamaguchi, Ryusuke Kakigi; Do infants recognize the Arcimboldo images as faces? Behavioral and near-infrared spectroscopic study. Journal of Vision 2009;9(8):483. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/9.8.483.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Arcimboldo images are the portraits painted by Giuseppe Arcimboldo. Despite the fact that only nonface objects such as vegetables and fruits are painted, Arcimboldo images induce perception of faces when shown in upright. The perception of face in the Arcimboldo images demonstrates our remarkable sensitivity to upright facial configuration. In the present study, we examined whether infants recognize a face in the Arcimboldo images by using preferential looking technique and by using near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS).
In the first experiment, we measured infants' looking preference between the upright and inverted Arcimboldo images in 5–6 and 7–8-month-old infants. We hypothesized that if infants detect face from Arcimboldo images, infants would prefer the upright images to inverted image. We found that only 7–8-months significantly preferred upright images, suggesting that they could detect faces from upright Arcimboldo images.
In the second experiment, we measured hemodynamic responses by using NIRS. Based on the behavioral data, we hypothesized that 7–8 months would show differential neural activity for upright and inverted Arcimboldo images as what have shown in the case of adults (Rossion & Jacques, 2008). Therefore, we measured hemodynamic responses from 7–8-month-olds while they were looking at upright and inverted Arcimboldo images by using NIRS. The responses were compared to the baseline activation during the presentation of individual vegetable. We found that the concentration of oxy-Hb increased in left lateral area during the presentation of the upright images compared to the baseline period. The results of two experiments suggested that (1) the ability to detect the face based on configurational information develops by 7–8-months of age, (2) processing of the upright Arcimboldo images related to the left lateral area.
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