Babies Learn Faces Much Sooner Than Thought
Babies as young as four months old may have the ability to recognize faces, according to a new study published in the journal eLife.
To conduct their study, researchers from the University of Louvain in France monitored the brain activity of 15 babies using caps fitted with electrodes. The babies were shown a rapid succession of images as they sat on their mothers’ laps, which consisted of 48 images of faces interspersed with 200 images of animals, plants and man-made objects.
The results showed that when the babies saw a picture of a face, there was a corresponding spike in activity in the right hemispheres of the infants’ brains. Furthermore, when comparing the results from the infants to the results of the same study conducted in adults, the difference in activity between the right and left hemisphere was even more pronounced in the babies.
The team’s next study will focus on applying the same methods to see at what age humans develop the ability to tell people apart from one another.