Eye tracking reveals a crucial role for facial motion in recognition of faces by infants. Journal Articles uri icon

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  • Current knowledge about face processing in infancy comes largely from studies using static face stimuli, but faces that infants see in the real world are mostly moving ones. To bridge this gap, 3-, 6-, and 9-month-old Asian infants (N = 118) were familiarized with either moving or static Asian female faces, and then their face recognition was tested with static face images. Eye-tracking methodology was used to record eye movements during the familiarization and test phases. The results showed a developmental change in eye movement patterns, but only for the moving faces. In addition, the more infants shifted their fixations across facial regions, the better their face recognition was, but only for the moving faces. The results suggest that facial movement influences the way faces are encoded from early in development.


  • Xiao, Naiqi
  • Quinn, Paul C
  • Liu, Shaoying
  • Ge, Liezhong
  • Pascalis, Olivier
  • Lee, Kang

publication date

  • June 2015