This study addressed the development of attention to information that is socially relevant to adults by examining infants' (n = 64) scanning patterns of male and female bodies. Infants exhibited systematic attention to regions associated with sex-related scanning by adults, with 3.5-and 6.5-month-olds looking longer at the torso of females than males and longer at the legs of males than females. However, this pattern of looking was not found when infants were tested on headless bodies in Experiment 2, which suggests that infants' differential gaze pattern in Experiment 1 was not due to low-level stimulus features, such as clothing, and also indicates that facial/head information is necessary for infants to exhibit sex-specific scanning. We discuss implications for models of face and body knowledge development.
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This research was supported by a grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (HD075829).
White, Hannah B.; Hock, Alyson J.; Jubran, Rachel L.; Heck, Alison; and Bhatt, Ramesh S., "Visual Scanning of Males and Females in Infancy" (2018). Psychology Faculty Publications. 177.