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Infant Sensitivity to Adult Eye Direction

S. M. J. Hains and D. W. Muir
Child Development
Vol. 67, No. 5 (Oct., 1996), pp. 1940-1951
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Society for Research in Child Development
DOI: 10.2307/1131602
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1131602
Page Count: 12
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Infant Sensitivity to Adult Eye Direction
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Abstract

Adult eye direction was manipulated while adults interacted with 3-6-month-olds over closed-circuit television (Experiment 1) or in person (Experiment 2). Infants received 4 1-min interaction periods. For experimental groups, adult eye contact was maintained during Periods 1 and 3, and averted during Periods 2 and 4 (by viewing infants on a television monitor to maintain contingency). Control infants received eye contact during all periods. Experimental infants' smiling declined whenever adults looked away; their visual attention simply decreased across periods. Control infants showed little change in gaze or smiling across periods. The implications of these results for Baron-Cohen's model of infant theory of mind and Morton and Johnson's 2-process theory of infant face perception are discussed.

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