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Babies can't recognize mothers' faces from the profile view

Babies recognize faces from profile view in the second half of the first year of life, new research shows.

Babies younger than 6 months of age do not recognize their mothers watching their mobile phones. Babies recognize a face from profile view after 6 months of age.

Longitudinally testing 14 babies every month during the first 3 to 8 months of life, scientists at Chuo University and other institutions first identified developmental changes in babies with regard to the ability to recognize a face from frontal and profile views. Adults and children easily recognize faces from both the frontal and profile views, whereas newborn babies do not.

To investigate the age when we are able to recognize the face regardless of view change, they measured a baby's brain activity while the baby viewed frontal and profile views of the face using non-invasive near-infrared spectroscopy.

The brain activity of babies tells us if they recognize a face because babies' hemodynamic responses in the right occipito-temporal area increase when they are viewing a face. It is normal that every baby varies in their development in the aspects of speed and time.

Lately mobile phones have become popular, and we are aware of it every moment. Mothers caring for their babies are no exception. However, younger babies do not recognize the face in profile. When we communicate with younger babies, we should look straight at the babies' faces.


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