Research in this field found preferential differences in an adult when their eye gaze is directed towards an object, as opposed to faces with eye gaze averted from an object, in neonates (Farroni, Csibra, Simion, & Johnson, 2002). Reid and Striano (2005) examined 4-month-old infants looking at adult faces with their eye gaze directed towards an object and averted away from an object. It was found that infants looked substantially shorter at the object that was cued by the eye gaze. They concluded that the cued object was familiar compared with the uncued object which was seen as novel and therefore attracted more attention. Reid, Striano, Kaufman, and Johnson (2004) expanded upon previous research and investigated neural activity using event related potentials to measure an infants’ reaction to direct and averted eye gaze. A positive slow wave measure was adopted and it was found that the amplitude was larger for the averted eye gaze condition compared against the direct eye gaze condition. This increase indicated that the averted eye gaze was seen as novel compared to the direct eye gaze, substantiating what had been found in previous research.
Hoehl, Reid, Mooney, and Striano (2008) re...
... middle of paper ...
...search has provided a deeper understanding into the field of infant development. This study looked to see whether infants differentially process an adults’ eye gaze depending on directed or averted eye gaze from an object located in the infants’ periphery view. It was found that there are differences in neural processing between direct and averted eye gaze in terms of encoding and attention. However, improvements could be made to the study such as making changes to the face in order to see whether the perception of the face changes processing, as well as carrying out a memory test to verify the assumption made about encoding differences. Future research has focused on infants with Autism Spectrum Disorder in relation to the processing of eye gaze to determine whether autism can be identified early on in infancy (Hoehl, Reid, Parise, Handl, Palumbo, & Striano, 2009).
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