One-month-old infants show visual preference for human-like feature

  • Wakako Sanefuji
  • Kazuko Wada
  • Tomoka Yamamoto
  • Miho Shizawa
  • Junko Matsuzaki
  • Ikuko Mohri
  • Keiichi Ozono
  • Masako Taniike
Keywords: infants, preference, social cognition, animacy


Infants’ behaviors toward humans differ from those toward objects since early development.  Previous studies have mainly investigated the role of motion for the distinction between human and non-human objects, although physical appearance is another crucial factor.  The present study investigated one-month-old infants’ responses to the still-image of human faces and non-human objects including face-like pattern (doll and object), using this infant-control preferential looking procedure.  The results revealed the infants’ preference for human faces over objects including face-like patterns but no such preferences for humans over dolls.  The infants preferred faces resembling human faces in the absence of motion information.  Such preferences for human-like features supplement evidence on the first step of early social cognition, which is important in human communication.
Original Articles