BIROn - Birkbeck Institutional Research Online

Faces attract infants' attention in complex displays

Gliga, Teodora and Elsabbagh, Mayada and Andravizou, Athina and Johnson, Mark H. (2009) Faces attract infants' attention in complex displays. Infancy 14 (5), pp. 550-562. ISSN 1525-0008.

Full text not available from this repository.
Official URL:


Infant's face preferences have previously been assessed in displays containing 1 or 2 faces. Here we present 6-month-old infants with a complex visual array containing faces among multiple visual objects. Despite the competing objects, infants direct their first saccade toward faces more frequently than expected by chance (Experiment 1). The attention-grabbing effect of faces is not selective to upright faces (Experiment 2) but does require the presence of internal facial elements, as faces whose interior has been phase-scrambled did not attract infants' attention (Experiment 3). On the contrary, when the number of fixations is considered, upright faces are scanned more extensively than both inverted and phase-scrambled faces. The difference in selectivity between the first look measure and the fixation count measure is discussed in light of a distinction between attention-grabbing and attention-holding mechanisms.

Item Type: Article
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Science > Psychological Sciences
Depositing User: Administrator
Date Deposited: 22 Dec 2010 15:01
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2013 12:19

Archive Staff Only (login required)

Edit/View Item Edit/View Item