The faces in infant-perspective scenes change over the first year of life

Swapnaa Jayaraman, Caitlin M. Fausey, Linda B. Smith

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Mature face perception has its origins in the face experiences of infants. However, little is known about the basic statistics of faces in early visual environments. We used head cameras to capture and analyze over 72,000 infant-perspective scenes from 22 infants aged 1-11 months as they engaged in daily activities. The frequency of faces in these scenes declined markedly with age: for the youngest infants, faces were present 15 minutes in every waking hour but only 5 minutes for the oldest infants. In general, the available faces were well characterized by three properties: (1) they belonged to relatively few individuals; (2) they were close and visually large; and (3) they presented views showing both eyes. These three properties most strongly characterized the face corpora of our youngest infants and constitute environmental constraints on the early development of the visual system.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0123780
JournalPLoS One
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 27 May 2015
Externally publishedYes

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