Preference for facial averageness: evidence for a common mechanism in human and macaque infants

Damon, F., Méary, D., Quinn, P.C., Lee, K., Simpson, E.A., Paukner, A. ORCID: 0000-0002-3421-1864, Suomi, S.J. and Pascalis, O., 2017. Preference for facial averageness: evidence for a common mechanism in human and macaque infants. Scientific Reports, 7 (1): 46303. ISSN 2045-2322

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Abstract

Human adults and infants show a preference for average faces, which could stem from a general processing mechanism and may be shared among primates. However, little is known about preference for facial averageness in monkeys. We used a comparative developmental approach and eye-tracking methodology to assess visual attention in human and macaque infants to faces naturally varying in their distance from a prototypical face. In Experiment 1, we examined the preference for faces relatively close to or far from the prototype in 12-month-old human infants with human adult female faces. Infants preferred faces closer to the average than faces farther from it. In Experiment 2, we measured the looking time of 3-month-old rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) viewing macaque faces varying in their distance from the prototype. Like human infants, macaque infants looked longer to faces closer to the average. In Experiments 3 and 4, both species were presented with unfamiliar categories of faces (i.e., macaque infants tested with adult macaque faces; human infants and adults tested with infant macaque faces) and showed no prototype preferences, suggesting that the prototypicality effect is experience-dependent. Overall, the findings suggest a common processing mechanism across species, leading to averageness preferences in primates.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Scientific Reports
Creators: Damon, F., Méary, D., Quinn, P.C., Lee, K., Simpson, E.A., Paukner, A., Suomi, S.J. and Pascalis, O.
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
Date: 13 April 2017
Volume: 7
Number: 1
ISSN: 2045-2322
Identifiers:
NumberType
10.1038/srep46303DOI
BFsrep46303Publisher Item Identifier
Rights: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Depositing User: Jonathan Gallacher
Date Added: 25 Jan 2019 15:51
Last Modified: 25 Jan 2019 15:51
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/35694

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