Visual discrimination of male and female faces by infant rhesus macaques

Paukner, A. ORCID: 0000-0002-3421-1864, Huntsberry, M.E. and Suomi, S.J., 2010. Visual discrimination of male and female faces by infant rhesus macaques. Developmental Psychobiology, 52 (1), pp. 54-61. ISSN 0012-1630

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Recent studies have revealed that human infants process female faces differently from male faces. To test whether a similar preference for female faces exists in other primates, we presented nursery-reared infant rhesus macaques with photographs of macaque faces and human faces. At less than 1 month old, infant macaques preferentially oriented towards female macaque faces when faces were presented upright. No preference for female human faces was found. At 9 months old, infants failed to show a visual preference for female macaque faces or female human faces, although they showed significantly more lipsmacking responses at female human faces. Compared to human infants, macaques appear to have stronger predispositions early in life but this preference may nonetheless be amendable to experience. Understanding how innate predispositions and the social rearing environment shape infants’ understanding of faces remain important issues to be explored in order to understand facial processing abilities in humans and other primates.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Developmental Psychobiology
Creators: Paukner, A., Huntsberry, M.E. and Suomi, S.J.
Publisher: Wiley
Date: January 2010
Volume: 52
Number: 1
ISSN: 0012-1630
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Jonathan Gallacher
Date Added: 29 Mar 2021 11:09
Last Modified: 31 May 2021 15:05

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