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Development of upper visual field bias for faces in infants
Developmental Science  (IF4.939),  Pub Date : 2022-03-27, DOI: 10.1111/desc.13262
Shuma Tsurumi, So Kanazawa, Masami K. Yamaguchi, Jun-ichiro Kawahara

The spatial location of the face and body seen in daily life influences human perception and recognition. This contextual effect of spatial locations suggests that daily experience affects how humans visually process the face and body. However, it remains unclear whether this effect is caused by experience, or innate neural pathways. To address this issue, we examined the development of visual field asymmetry for face processing, in which faces in the upper visual field were processed preferentially compared to the lower visual field. We found that a developmental change occurred between 6 and 7 months. Older infants aged 7–8 months showed bias toward faces in the upper visual field, similar to adults, but younger infants of 5–6 months showed no such visual field bias. Furthermore, older infants preferentially memorized faces in the upper visual field, rather than in the lower visual field. These results suggest that visual field asymmetry is acquired through development, and might be caused by the learning of spatial location in daily experience.