Newborns' Mooney‐Face Perception
The aim of this study is to investigate whether newborns detect a face on the basis of a Gestalt representation based on first‐order relational information (i.e., the basic arrangement of face features) by using Mooney stimuli. The incomplete 2‐tone Mooney stimuli were used because they preclude focusing both on the local features (i.e., the fine details of the individual features) and on the second‐order relational information (i.e., the distance between the internal elements); therefore, face detection can rely only on a Gestalt representation of a face. Two experiments were carried out by using a preferential looking procedure. Experiment 1 demonstrated that newborns prefer upright Mooney faces to inverted Mooney faces (180° rotated). Experiment 2 showed that newborns prefer a Mooney face as compared to a Mooney‐like object equated for the number of elements in the upper part. Overall, the results indicate that newborns bind and organize the fragmentary parts of the Mooneized face stimulus into a whole and detect the first‐order relations of a face on the basis of holistic processing.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
10.1080/15250000903264047 About DOI