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Mother's face recognition by neonates: A replication and an extension

Examined neonates' recognition of their mother's faces, and investigated which parts of the mother's face are essential to infant recognition. In Exp 1, 34 neonates (aged 72-220 hrs) were tested and found to have a visual preference for their mother's face. In Exp 2, 20 neonates' (aged 72-268 hrs) were tested when the outer contour of the mother's head was masked, and the visual preference for the faces of their mothers disappeared. Thus, newborns have learned something about the way their mothers look by the time they are 4 days old. Further, what they have learned is somehow coded, or at least accessible, independently from information of other kinds associated with the occurrence of their mother's face. However, it seems that what they have learned has to do with the outer rather than the inner features of the face. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2005 APA, all rights reserved)



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