September 2021
Volume 21, Issue 9
Open Access
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   September 2021
Upper visual field bias for face detection in infants
Author Affiliations
  • Shuma Tsurumi
    Chuo University
    Japan Society for Promotion of Science
  • So Kanazawa
    Japan Women’s University
  • Masami K. Yamaguchi
    Chuo University
  • Jun Kawahara
    Hokkaido University
Journal of Vision September 2021, Vol.21, 2058. doi:
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      Shuma Tsurumi, So Kanazawa, Masami K. Yamaguchi, Jun Kawahara; Upper visual field bias for face detection in infants. Journal of Vision 2021;21(9):2058.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Upper visual field enables faster face detection compared to lower visual field (Fecteau et al., 2000). This finding suggests a bias that visual attention tends to be directed to a face located in the upper field rapidly, and enhances face processing in the upper visual field. In previous studies, this bias of face processing in the upper visual field has been reported in adults. However, it has been little known about this bias in infants. In the present study, we examined whether infants have the upper visual field bias to the face as seen in adults. In the Experiment 1, we measured eye movements in 7- to 8-month-old infants under two conditions. One was that two female faces were presented either in the upper and lower fields, or in the right and left fields against the central fixation. The infants viewed the two faces for one sec. We calculated the proportion of the first look to each visual field. The results indicated that the proportion of first look to the face in the upper field was significantly greater than that in the lower field, while there was no significant difference between the right and left fields. In Experiment 2, we investigated whether this upper field bias observed in Experiment 1 was specific to faces by replacing the face images with those of houses. Another twenty 7- to 8-month-old infants participated. We found no significant difference between the upper and lower visual fields. Neither between the left and right. These results suggest that the upper filed bias is specific to faces. We argue that 7- to 8- month-old infants might have learned a probabilistic consistency that faces occur frequently in the upper visual field through experience contributing to a processing advantage for faces appeared in the upper visual field.


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