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Charisse B. Pickron, Eswen Fava, Lisa S. Scott; The Influence of Face Processing Biases on Eye Gaze Following and Object Processing During Infancy. Journal of Vision 2014;14(10):1268. doi: 10.1167/14.10.1268.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Following eye gaze provides perceivers opportunities to learn about events which their social partner is referencing. Eye gaze following influences the way infants process cued versus uncued targets. Recent work has found that affect (e.g., fear) as well as individual familiarity (e.g., primary caregiver) of faces can increase or decrease attention allocated toward cued versus uncued targets (Gredebäck et al., 2010; Hoehl, Wahl et al., 2012; Hoehl, Wiese, & Striano, 2008). However, eye gaze following has not been examined within the context of face-processing biases. During infancy face-processing biases develop such that 6-month-old infants differentiate among faces within unfamiliar or infrequently experience groups (e.g., other races) that neither 9-month-old infants nor adults readily differentiate. However, it is currently unclear whether the progression of face-processing biases influences the development of eye gaze following and object processing. In the present investigation, 5- and 10-month-old infants completed an eye-tracking task in which they viewed videos of adults, who varied by race and gender, cue one of two objects through shifts in eye gaze. After objects appeared with each face, they were presented in a preferential looking task. Infants' looking patterns towards these events were examined. Preliminary results suggest that changes in attention toward cued versus uncued objects between 5 and 10 months are influenced by both the race and gender of the cuing face. Five-month-old infants displayed significant and marginally significant differences between cued and uncued objects for both frequently and infrequently experienced races (respectively). However, by 10 months, infants only differentiated between objects after being cued with a face from an infrequently experienced group. Moreover, at 5 months the gender of the face significantly influenced attention to the objects; but not at 10 months. These results provide insight into how early experiences with particular groups influence infants' processing of social communication cues.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2014
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