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Neuroimage. 2019 Feb 1;186:817-824. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2018.11.031. Epub 2018 Dec 5.

A longitudinal study of infant view-invariant face processing during the first 3-8 months of life.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, Chuo University, Hachioji, Tokyo, 192-0393, Japan; Research and Development Initiative, Chuo University, Chiyoda, Tokyo, 112-8551, Japan; Japan Society for the Promotion of Sciences, Chiyoda, Tokyo, 102-8471, Japan. Electronic address: ichi@rs.tus.ac.jp.
2
Research and Development Initiative, Chuo University, Chiyoda, Tokyo, 112-8551, Japan; Department of Integrative Physiology, National Institute for Physiological Sciences, Okazaki, Aichi, 444-8585, Japan.
3
Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, The University of Tokyo, Kashiwa, Chiba, 277-8561, Japan.
4
Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, The University of Tokyo, Kashiwa, Chiba, 277-8561, Japan; RIKEN Brain Science Institute, Wako, Saitama, 351-0106, Japan.
5
Department of Psychology, Japan Women's University, Kawasaki, Kanagawa, 214-8565, Japan.
6
Department of Psychology, Chuo University, Hachioji, Tokyo, 192-0393, Japan.
7
Department of Integrative Physiology, National Institute for Physiological Sciences, Okazaki, Aichi, 444-8585, Japan.

Abstract

View-invariant face processing emerges early in life. A previous study (Nakato et al., 2009) measured infant hemodynamic responses to faces from the frontal and profile views in the bilateral temporal areas, which have been reported to be involved in face processing using near-infrared spectroscopy. It was reported that 5-month-old infants showed increased oxyhemoglobin (oxy-Hb) responses to frontal faces, but not to profile faces. In contrast, 8-month-old infants displayed increased oxy-Hb responses to profile faces as well as to frontal faces. In this study, we used the experimental method developed in the previous study to investigate the development of view-invariant face processing, every month for 5 months (from the first 3-8 months of life). We longitudinally measured hemodynamic responses to faces from the frontal and profile views in 14 infants. The longitudinal measurements allowed us to investigate individual differences in each participant. We modeled each infant's hemodynamic oxy-Hb responses to frontal and profile faces using linear regression analysis. Processing of profile faces emerged later and underwent larger improvements than that of frontal faces. We also found an anticorrelation between the speed of improvement in face processing and the hemodynamic response to faces at the age of 3- months. Group analysis of the averaged hemodynamic data from the 14 infants using linear regression revealed that the processing of profile faces emerged between 5 and 6 months of age. Infant view-invariant face processing developed first for frontal faces. This was followed by the emergence of processing of profile faces.

KEYWORDS:

Face processing; Infants; Linear regression analysis; Longitudinal study; NIRS; Near-infrared spectroscopy; View-dependent

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