Date of Award
Master of Arts
Greg D. Reynolds
Daniela M Corbetta, Jessica S. Hay
Infants experience a gradual decline in the ability to discriminate other-species faces during the first year of life (Pascalis, de Haan, & Nelson, 2006). It is possible that this decline is due to infants distributing more attention to human faces than to other-species faces. The current study explored the effect of modifying the distribution of 9-month-old infants’ selective attention during the processing of monkey faces. After familiarization with monkey faces with successively highlighted internal features, infants showed significant preference to novel faces in paired-comparison tasks. In contrast, infants in a control group with no highlighting during familiarization did not show evidence of discrimination. These findings support the possibility that modifying infants’ selective attention facilitates recognition of other-species faces, and indicate that perceptual narrowing may work at the level of selective attention.
Zhang, Dantong, "The Role of Attention in the Other-Species Effect in Infancy. " Master's Thesis, University of Tennessee, 2012.