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Dev Psychol. 1999 Jul;35(4):1113-21.

Brain activity differentiates face and object processing in 6-month-old infants.

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Cognitive Neuroscience Unit, Institute of Child Health, University College London, England.


Event-related potentials were used to determine whether infants, like adults, show differences in spatial and temporal characteristics of brain activation during face and object recognition. Three aspects of visual processing were identified: (a) differentiation of face vs. object (P400 at occipital electrode was shorter latency for faces), (b) recognition of familiar identity (Nc, or negative component, at fronto-temporal electrodes [FTEs] was of larger amplitude for familiar stimuli), and (c) encoding novelty (slow wave at FTEs was larger for unfamiliar stimuli). The topography of the Nc was influenced by category type: Effects of familiarity were limited to the midline and right anterior temporal electrodes for faces but extended to all temporal electrodes for objects. Results show that infants' experience with specific examples within categories and their general category knowledge influence the neural correlates of visual processing.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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