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Int J Psychophysiol. 2003 Dec;51(1):45-58.

Development of face-sensitive event-related potentials during infancy: a review.

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Institute of Child Health, University College London, UK.


Event-related potential (ERP) studies in adults have identified a number of components related to encoding and recognition memory of faces. Although behavioural studies indicate that even very young infants are able to detect faces and recognise familiar individuals, very few ERP studies document the neural correlates of these early abilities. In this article, we review four components (P1, N290, P400, Nc) and slow wave activity that are elicited while infants view faces. Where possible we draw links between these components and their possible equivalents to those observed in children and adults, and we highlight areas where further investigation is required. The theoretical importance of ERP studies of face processing in infants for debates about the origins and domain specificity of the adult cortical face processing system are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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