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Baby Lab

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Hemispheric asymmetry in a face discrimination task in infants

A right-hemisphere advantage in a mother's face recognition task in infants aged between 4 and 10 months was found to exist by de Schonen, Gil de Diaz, and Mathivet. The present study was designed to test (a) whether the right-hemisphere advantage would still prevail if the task requirements were different from those in the previous study, and (b) whether any information was communicated from one hemisphere to the other. 18-42-week-old infants were presented with an operant conditioning situation where they had to discriminate between their mother's and a stranger's face within one visual hemifield. Transfer of learning from one visual hemifield to the other was also measured. The results confirm the existence of a right-hemisphere advantage in discriminating between face stimuli. This advantage was weaker in the female than in the male population. No hemispheric transfer of learning was observed to occur.



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