A significant feature of the adult human brain is its ability to selectively process information about conspecifics. Much debate has centred on whether this specialization is primarily a result of phylogenetic adaptation, or whether the brain acquires expertise in processing social stimuli as a result of its being born into an intensely social environment. Here we study the haemodynamic response in cortical areas of newborns (1–5 days old) while they passively viewed dynamic human or mechanical action videos. We observed activation selective to a dynamic face stimulus over bilateral posterior temporal cortex, but no activation in response to a moving human arm. This selective activation to the social stimulus correlated with age in hours over the first few days post partum. Thus, even very limited experience of face-to-face interaction with other humans may be sufficient to elicit social stimulus activation of relevant cortical regions.

Infant cortex responds to other humans from shortly after birth

FARRONI, TERESA;MASSACCESI, STEFANO;DI GANGI, VALENTINA;
2013

Abstract

A significant feature of the adult human brain is its ability to selectively process information about conspecifics. Much debate has centred on whether this specialization is primarily a result of phylogenetic adaptation, or whether the brain acquires expertise in processing social stimuli as a result of its being born into an intensely social environment. Here we study the haemodynamic response in cortical areas of newborns (1–5 days old) while they passively viewed dynamic human or mechanical action videos. We observed activation selective to a dynamic face stimulus over bilateral posterior temporal cortex, but no activation in response to a moving human arm. This selective activation to the social stimulus correlated with age in hours over the first few days post partum. Thus, even very limited experience of face-to-face interaction with other humans may be sufficient to elicit social stimulus activation of relevant cortical regions.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11577/2684087
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