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Psychol Sci. 2014 Oct;25(10):1884-92. doi: 10.1177/0956797614544307. Epub 2014 Aug 14.

Gaze following is accelerated in healthy preterm infants.

Author information

1
Laboratorio de Neurociencias Cognitivas, Escuela de Psicología, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile mpenag@uc.cl marcella.pena.g@gmail.com.
2
Laboratorio de Neurociencias Cognitivas, Escuela de Psicología, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile.
3
Cognitive Neuroimaging Unit, INSERM U992, Gif-sur-Yvette, France NeuroSpin Center, DSV/I2BM, Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique, Gif-sur-Yvette, France Cognitive Neuroimaging Unit, Université Paris-Sud.

Abstract

Gaze following is an essential human communication cue that orients the attention of two interacting people to the same external object. This capability is robustly observed after 7 months of age in full-term infants. Do healthy preterm infants benefit from their early exposure to face-to-face interactions with other humans to acquire this capacity sooner than full-term infants of the same chronological age, despite their immature brains? In two different experiments, we demonstrated that 7-month-old preterm infants performed like 7-month-old full-term infants (with whom they shared the same chronological age) and not like 4-month-old full-term infants (with whom they shared the same postmenstrual age). The duration of exposure to visual experience thus appears to have a greater impact on the development of early gaze following than does postmenstrual age.

KEYWORDS:

emotion; experience; facial expression; gaze following; premature; social ability

PMID:
25125427
DOI:
10.1177/0956797614544307
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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