BIROn - Birkbeck Institutional Research Online

    Infant cortex responds to other humans from shortly after birth

    Farroni, Teresa and Chiarelli, A.M. and Lloyd-Fox, Sarah and Massaccesi, S. and Merla, A. and Di Gangi, V. and Mattarello, T. and Faraguna, D. and Johnson, Mark H. (2013) Infant cortex responds to other humans from shortly after birth. Scientific Reports 3 , p. 2851. ISSN 2045-2322.

    8368.pdf - Published Version of Record
    Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

    Download (611kB) | Preview


    A significant feature of the adult human brain is its ability to selectively process information about conspecifics. Much debate has centred on whether this specialization is primarily a result of phylogenetic adaptation, or whether the brain acquires expertise in processing social stimuli as a result of its being born into an intensely social environment. Here we study the haemodynamic response in cortical areas of newborns (1–5 days old) while they passively viewed dynamic human or mechanical action videos. We observed activation selective to a dynamic face stimulus over bilateral posterior temporal cortex, but no activation in response to a moving human arm. This selective activation to the social stimulus correlated with age in hours over the first few days post partum. Thus, even very limited experience of face-to-face interaction with other humans may be sufficient to elicit social stimulus activation of relevant cortical regions.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Optical imaging, Near-infrared spectroscopy, Perception, Psychology
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Psychological Sciences
    Research Centres and Institutes: Brain and Cognitive Development, Centre for (CBCD)
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 07 Oct 2013 10:39
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:07


    Activity Overview
    6 month trend
    6 month trend

    Additional statistics are available via IRStats2.

    Archive Staff Only (login required)

    Edit/View Item Edit/View Item