Face Detection and the Development of Own-Species Bias in Infant Macaques

Elizabeth A. Simpson, Krisztina V. Jakobsen, Fabrice Damon, Stephen J. Suomi, Pier F. Ferrari, Annika Paukner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


In visually complex environments, numerous items compete for attention. Infants may exhibit attentional efficiency—privileged detection, attention capture, and holding—for face-like stimuli. However, it remains unknown when these biases develop and what role, if any, experience plays in this emerging skill. Here, nursery-reared infant macaques' (Macaca mulatta; n = 10) attention to faces in 10-item arrays of nonfaces was measured using eye tracking. With limited face experience, 3-week-old monkeys were more likely to detect faces and looked longer at faces compared to nonfaces, suggesting a robust face detection system. By 3 months, after peer exposure, infants looked faster to conspecific faces but not heterospecific faces, suggesting an own-species bias in face attention capture, consistent with perceptual attunement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)103-113
Number of pages11
JournalChild development
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'Face Detection and the Development of Own-Species Bias in Infant Macaques'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this