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Baby Lab

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Do the right and left hemispheres attend to the same visuospatial information within a face in infancy?

Research (C. Deruelle and S. de Schonen 1991, 1995) has shown that 4-10-mo-old infants process different information within geometrical patterns with each of the 2 hemispheres. This study was designed to test whether this early difference between the hemispheres' modes of processing also holds in the case of face processing. 48 4-10-mo-old Ss had to discriminate and recognize with each hemi-visual field the 2 members of a pair of faces. There were 3 pairs of faces that differed by either eye shape, eye size, or eye orientation. Results confirmed the predictions made on the basis of adult studies and infants' hemispheric differences in geometrical pattern processing: A left hemisphere advantage was observed in the case of the 1st pair of faces and a right hemisphere advantage with the 2nd and 3rd pairs. It is suggested that the early right hemisphere advantage over the left (S. de Schonen and E. Mathivet, 1990) in face recognition by 4-9-mo-old infants may be mainly based on the difference in the kind of visuospatial information processed by each hemisphere. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2005 APA, all rights reserved)



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