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The Development of Social EngagementNeurobiological Perspectives$
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Peter J. Marshall and Nathan A. Fox

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195168716

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195168716.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 06 December 2021

Neural Bases of Infants’ Processing of Social Information in Faces

Neural Bases of Infants’ Processing of Social Information in Faces

Chapter:
(p.46) 3 Neural Bases of Infants’ Processing of Social Information in Faces
Source:
The Development of Social Engagement
Author(s):

Michelle de Haan

Margriet Groen

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195168716.003.0003

Interest in examining the underlying mechanisms of young infants' face-processing abilities is increasing; hence this paper presents a review of infants' abilities to recognize and respond to faces and their conveyed emotion as social stimuli different from other types of objects. A discussion on evidence from imitation, response to still faces, patterns of visual attention and social referencing suggests that infants have the ability to understand the meaning of faces even before they reach the age of one, and that this continues to develop during childhood. At the neurobiological level, this could be attributed to early maturation of the occipitotemporal cortex, amygdala and other cortical structures, and the delayed maturation of other structures and their connections. Evidence shows that the development of expression recognition and responses in infants is influenced strongly by experience.

Keywords:   infant behaviour, facial expression, recognition, face-processing, social stimuli, occipitotemporal cortex, amygdala

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