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Sex Differences in Human Neonatal Social Perception

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Abstract

Sexual dimorphism in sociability has been documented in humans. The present study aimed to ascertain whether the sexual dimorphism is a result of biological or socio-cultural differences between the two sexes. 102 human neonates, who by definition have not yet been influenced by social and cultural factors, were tested to see if there was a difference in looking time at a face (social object) and a mobile (physical-mechanical object). Results showed that the male infants showed a stronger interest in the physical-mechanical mobile while the female infants showed a stronger interest in the face. The results of this research clearly demonstrate that sex differences are in part biological in origin.

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... In other sessions, studies are chosen to help contrast and debate, such as when discussing sex differences in neonatal social perception (e.g. Connellan et al. 2000, Escudero et al. 2013). As we show in the student experience section below, students often struggle to see the relevance of studies with neonates for their classrooms. ...
... The study by Connellan et al. (2000), for example, has proven very influential, being cited over 600 times since its publication. Their results were in line with the hypothesis of innate sex differences in preferences, with girls assumed to be innately attracted to people and boys to objects. ...
... Escudero et al. 2013), it provided us with a good opportunity to discuss methodology within this complex topic, and how this might influence the debate. The methodology implemented by Connellan et al. (2000), for instance, could not exclude experimenter effects (see Doyen et al. 2012). The overall small sample showed very little difference for the majority of the neonates investigated. ...
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What leads less women to pursue STEM careers? What does research find about differences in girls’ and boys’ educational trajectories? Students and faculty may have heard about gender bias, the leaky pipeline, gender stereotypes, or gender differences in the brain, but it is often difficult to grasp the underlying complexity of these topics. As social scientists in a technical university, we think that learning more closely about research in this field is helpful in developing a balanced and critical perspective. We have thus developed a course on gender issues in education and STEM for students in the teacher education program at ETH Zurich. In this paper, we first introduce some of the main issues in the context of gender and STEM, around which our course is designed. We then describe the pillars of our course. The course is interactive, with students presenting and critically discussing psychological and educational research. We walk students through the various controversies in the field: the nature-nurture question, gender differences vs. similarities, biases vs. interests, gender stereotypes and potential interventions. In a final assignment, students in small groups integrate several papers into a blog-post. Finally, we describe how students respond to our course, and discuss the challenges we as lecturers experience throughout.
... Lutchmaya, Baron-Cohen, & Raggatt, 2002;Lust et al., 2010), sugerindo que ao nascer já é possível verificar diferenças entre os sexos (e.g. Connellan, Baron-Cohen, Wheelwright, Batki, & Ahluwalia, 2000;. Outros indicam que os cérebros de homens e mulheres, além de diferentes (e.g. ...
... Uma preferência maior por móbiles entre os bebês do sexo masculino e uma preferência superior por rostos humanos entre bebês do sexo feminino pode ilustrar, precocemente, as habilidades envolvidas na empatia e na sistematização (e.g. Connellan et al., 2000). ...
... An additional limitation of these studies is that sex differences in neurotypical development are still not fully understood. Some evidence indicates that neurotypical female infants show superior social cognition abilities [29], social attention [30], and communication abilities [21] compared to neurotypical male infants. These sex differences in neurotypical development are likely driven by biological rather than environmental or socio-cultural influences since newborn females have been shown to look longer at human faces than newborn males [29]. ...
... Some evidence indicates that neurotypical female infants show superior social cognition abilities [29], social attention [30], and communication abilities [21] compared to neurotypical male infants. These sex differences in neurotypical development are likely driven by biological rather than environmental or socio-cultural influences since newborn females have been shown to look longer at human faces than newborn males [29]. In summary, infants later diagnosed with autism may show differences in autistic traits that align with differences observed in neurotypical development; these differences are best understood using datadriven methods. ...
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Purpose of ReviewFemales and males are disproportionately diagnosed with autism, a sex difference that has historically represented this neurodevelopmental condition. The current review examines lifespan developmental trajectories of autism based on sex to elucidate behavioral phenotypic differences that may contribute to differential rates of diagnosis.Recent FindingsWe review sex differences in diagnostic criteria: social communication and restricted interests/repetitive behaviors (RRBs). Results suggest RRBs are more indicative of a diagnosis in males, whereas social differences are more indicative of a diagnosis in females. Factors contributing to a later diagnosis in females include social strengths (camouflaging) and diagnostic overshadowing.SummarySex differences in diagnostic criteria may contribute to differential rates of identification in males and females. Sex differences are most pronounced when assessing naturalistic social communication instead of reliance on standardized measure. Numerous future directions are identified including increasing samples of sub-threshold autistic females and evaluating longitudinal sex differences.
... The literature demonstrating gender-typed child behavior during infancy is limited. Some reports show that infant girls are more socially involved and tend to orient more to a face or a voice (Connellan et al., 2000), and to seek more physical and relational contact with their parents than do infant boys in the dyadic interaction (Benenson et al., 1999). Infant girls have also been found to be more able to discriminate between emotional expressions (McClure, 2000), and to display stronger preferences for dolls than do boys (Alexander et al., 2009). ...
... For instance, girls are usually found to be more responsive, involved and positively engaged during dyadic interactions with both parents as compared with boys (Lovas, 2005;Nordahl et al., 2014). Infant girls are also shown to orient more to a face or a voice (Connellan et al., 2000) and to evidence a higher occurrence of relational dyadic behavior than infant boys (Benenson et al., 1999), possibly promoting higher dyadic mutuality. Similarly, another study found that infant girls may be more able to discriminate between emotional expressions (McClure, 2000), and tend to display stronger preferences to dolls than boys (Alexander et al., 2009). ...
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This study investigates differences in dyadic mother–infant and father–infant interaction patterns at infant age 12 months, and the relation between different parent–infant gender compositions and the dyadic interaction. Data were drawn from a large‐scale, population‐based Norwegian community sample comprising 671 mother–infant and 337 father–infant interactions. The Early Relational Health Screen (ERHS), a screening method for observing dyadic parent–infant interactions, was used to assess the parent–infant interactions. Scores on the ERHS were employed to investigate dyadic differences in the overall interaction scores, and dyadic interaction on seven sub‐dimensions between mother–infant and father–infant pairs. The relation between different parent–infant gender compositions and the dyadic interaction scores was also examined. As expected in a normative sample, most parent–infant interactions received scores in the upper rating levels. Differences between mother–infant and father–infant patterns were generally small, but mother–infant dyads tended to obtain slightly higher scores. The mother–infant dyads received higher scores on the dimensions of engagement and enjoyment, but no other significant differences between the parent–infant pairs were found for the remaining dimensions. We did not find evidence for a moderation effect of child gender. However, parent–daughter dyads received somewhat higher scores than the parent–son dyads.
... In our study, girls seem to be attracted by the numerical correspondence between objects and mechanical sounds at an earlier developmental phase (5 months), than boys (7 months). This might be partially explained by the findings concerning sexual dimorphism documented in humans (see Connellan, Baron-Cohen, Wheelwright, Bakti & Ahluwalia, 2000). It has been found that male neonates show a stronger interest in the physical -mechanical stimuli than girls do. ...
... In Conditions with face -voice, girls -compared to boys-seemed to look longer at the stimuli. Relative studies with younger infants have showed that female neonates present a stronger interest in the face than male infants (Connellan et al., 2000). It seems that, in the particular task, girls' attention is focused on the qualitative (social vs. non-social) discrimination of the visual-auditory stimuli. ...
Article
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In the present cross-sectional experimental study we investigated infants’ early ability to intermodally detect numerosity of visual-auditory object-like and social stimuli. We assumed that presentation of face – voice stimuli would distract infants’ attention from detection of numerical invariant. Seventy-eight infants (aged 5, 7 and 9 months) participated in four experimental Conditions (simultaneously projected pairs of identical objects, non-identical objects, objects projected together with familiar face and objects projected together with unfamiliar face). Visual stimuli in each trial varied in numerosity (1 -2 / 1-3 / 2 -3) and they were accompanied by piano sounds or voice sounds also varying in numerosity (one, two or three sounds in La tonality). By means of preferential looking technique, we measured infants’ fixation of attention to the visual stimulus that numerically matched with the sound. When object-like stimuli were projected, infants –except 5-month-old boys –tended to intermodally detect numerical invariant. Shape similarity of the objects facilitated infants’ intermodal detection of numerosity. When socially salient stimuli were co-presented with object-like stimuli, infants preferred to look at the face, ignoring numerosity of the auditory stimulus. Nor sound quality (piano vs. voice) neither familiarity of the face (mother’s face vs. stranger woman’s face) affected infants’ perception. Although intermodal detection of perceptual cues is a primary function of both face and number perception, each one of these perceptual systems seems to follow a different developmental path.
... Many sex differences in sociability are present early in development. Within the first 3 days after birth, female neonates, compared to males, appear cuddlier (Benenson, Philippoussis, & Leeb, 1999), maintain eye contact longer (Hittelman & Dickes, 1979), and orient more to faces and voices (Connellan, Baron-Cohen, Wheelwright, Batki, & Ahluwalia, 2000). In the first week after birth, female neonates also display more contagious crying, possibly an early marker of empathy (Sagi & Hoffman, 1976), and higher rates of neonatal imitation, a purported early social skill (Nagy, Kompagne, Orvos, & Pal, 2007). ...
... A similar finding has been reported in older children: Females engage in associative play (3-4 years), cooperative play (4-5 years), and social interactions with peers (5-6 years) systematically earlier than males of the same age; as females move on to develop other complex social skills, males display more associative play (4-5 years) and cooperative play (5--6 years) than females of the same age (Barbu et al., 2011). In our study, females may no longer display a strong social preference at 2 months as they did when they were newborns (Connellan et al., 2000) because they have already moved on to develop other advanced social abilities (e.g., attending more to dynamic or socially responsive faces). This pattern of development is also seen in emotion regulation, with female infants, from 3 to 4 months of age, and male infants at 6 months of age, displaying the same emotion regulation strategy, demonstrating more distress and negative emotions during a still face interaction with their caregiver (Mayes & Carter, 1990;Weinberg et al., 1999) while female infants at 6 months of age begin employing social avoidance (e.g., looking away from their caregiver) to regulate their emotions (Weinberg et al., 1999). ...
Article
Females generally attend more to social information than males; however, little is known about the early development of these sex differences. With eye tracking, 2-month olds' (N = 101; 44 females) social orienting to faces was measured within four-item image arrays. Infants were more likely to detect human faces compared to objects, suggesting a functional face detection system. Unexpectedly, males looked longer at human faces than females, and only males looked faster and longer at human faces compared to objects. Females, in contrast, looked less at human faces relative to animal faces and objects, appearing socially disinterested. Notably, this is the first report of a male face detection advantage at any age. These findings suggest a unique stage in early infant social development.
... Argumen ini dibangun atas dasar adanya preferensi perilaku telah muncul sejak awal masa kehidupan bahkan sebelum sosialisasi dari lingkungan secara masif terjadi dan tidak bergantung pada pengetahuan mengenai gender. Connellan et al. (2000) dalam eksperimennya pada bayi berusia 40 minggu (10 bulan), menemukan adanya preferensi natural pada bayi perempuan yang menunjukkan ketertarikan lebih kuat pada objek sosial, sedangkan bayi laki-laki memiliki ketertarikan yang lebih kuat dalam melihat objek visualmekanik. ...
... Keterampilan berempati yang lebih menonjol pada perempuan ini juga terlihat secara natural dari pereferensi permainan anak, dimana anak perempuan lebih cenderung memilih permainan yang berkaitan dengan objek sosial, melibatkan aspek sosio-emosi ataupun aktivitas yang melibatkan pengasuhan/perawatan. Dalam beberapa studi yang dirangkum oleh Auyeung et al. (2009), anak perempuan secara natural lebih suka mainan boneka atau hewan sedangkan anak laki-laki lebih cenderung suka permainan yang berjenis konstruksi ataupun kendaraan. Connellan et al. (2000) dalam eksperimennya juga membuktikan bahwa bahwa tendensi ketertarikan sosial antara anak laki-laki dan perempuan merupakan bawaan biologis. Dalam studinya terhadap 102 bayi yang rata-rata memiliki usia 40 minggu, bayi perempuan ternyatra menunjukkan ketertarikan yang lebih pada objek sosial, sedangkan bayi laki-laki memiliki ketertarikan yang lebih kuat dalam melihat objek visual-mekanik. ...
... Moreover, female dogs' heart rate parameters correlated more strongly with those of their owners than equivalent parameters in males, suggesting greater owner-dog emotional contagion in females (Katayama et al., 2019). Female superiority in the social cognitive domain has been reported across numerous mammalian species including humans (McGuinness and Symonds, 1977;de Waal, 1996;Connellan et al., 2000;Bartal et al., 2011). Müller et al. (2011) suggested a relationship between those differences and levels of hormones with sex-specific differentiation of the brain. ...
Article
Dogs are highly sensitive to human behavior, and they evaluate us using both their direct experiences and from a third-party perspective. Dogs pay attention to various aspects of our actions and make judgements about, for example, social vs. selfish acts. However, it is unclear if dogs judge human competence. To investigate this issue, we showed dogs two experimenters manipulating a transparent container: one was good at removing the lid to take an object out of the container (Competent person), whereas the other was unsuccessful at this task (Incompetent person). After demonstrating their actions twice with different containers, both experimenters simultaneously tried to open a third container which contained food (Food condition; 30 dogs) or was empty (Empty condition; 30 dogs). Dogs in the Food condition looked at the Competent person longer than the Incompetent one, and female dogs in particular were more likely to approach the Competent person. In contrast, dogs in the Empty condition showed no preferences. This result suggests that dogs can recognize different competence levels in humans, and that this ability influences their behavior according to the first situation. Our data also indicate that more attention should be given to potential sex differences in dogs’ social evaluation abilities.
... Among the studies measuring sexual differences in face perception, some have shown that infant girls aged less than 2 days old present a stronger interest for faces, whereas infant boys prefer looking at the picture of a mechanical object (Connellan et al., 2000). Girls also tend to make significantly more eye contact with their parents than boys, and this behavioral difference has been associated with fetal testosterone level (Lutchmaya et al., 2002). ...
Article
It has been proposed that women are better than men at recognizing emotions and pain experienced by others. They have also been shown to be more sensitive to variations in pain expressions. The objective of the present study was to explore the perceptual basis of these sexual differences by comparing the visual information used by men and women to discriminate between different intensities of pain facial expressions. Using the data-driven Bubbles method, we were able to corroborate the woman advantage in the discrimination of pain intensities that did not appear to be explained by variations in empathic tendencies. In terms of visual strategies, our results do not indicate any qualitative differences in the facial regions used by men and women. However, they suggest that women rely on larger regions of the face that seems to completely mediate their advantage. This utilization of larger clusters could indicate either that women integrate simultaneously and more efficiently information coming from different areas of the face or that they are more flexible in the utilization of the information present in these clusters. Women would then opt for a more holistic or flexible processing of the facial information, while men would rely on a specific yet rigid integration strategy. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved).
... Although male infants persisted in their attempts to reestablish connection, they often took longer to do so than female infants, a finding that researchers posit as either biological or socialized (Weinberg et al., 1999). Some researchers have insisted that female infants are more "hardwired" for connection than boys by drawing upon a singular, flawed study on babies' gendered preferences for toys with faces or colorful mobiles (Connellan et al., 2000). These results have been refuted empirically (see Eliot, 2010), although there are sustained differences in other infant behaviors such as grip strength or skull circumference. ...
... These enriched experiences may open up critical opportunities for experience-dependent development, initiating positive cascades that increase likelihood of a more typical developmental trajectory (e.g., Bedford et al., 2016), with particularly pronounced effects in domains relevant to ASD such as social communication. These positive cascades could occur through many neurobiological, behavioral, and environmental processes, beginning with sex differences in social predispositions present at birth (e.g., Connellan et al., 2000). Additionally, parents may interact with and interpret infant signals differently based on the infant's sex and their own gender (Jaffe et al., 2001;Johnson et al., 2014;Weinberg et al., 1999;Weinraub & Frankel, 1977) that may contribute to sex differences in early experience. ...
Article
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To date, a deficit-oriented approach dominates autism spectrum disorder (ASD) research, including studies of infant siblings of children with ASD at high risk (HR) for the disabilities associated with this disorder. Despite scientific advances regarding early ASD-related risk, there remains little systematic investigation of positive development, limiting the scope of research and quite possibly a deeper understanding of pathways toward and away from ASD-related impairments. In this paper, we argue that integrating a resilience framework into early ASD research has the potential to enhance knowledge on prodromal course, phenotypic heterogeneity, and developmental processes of risk and adaptation. We delineate a developmental systems resilience framework with particular reference to HR infants. To illustrate the utility of a resilience perspective, we consider the “female protective effect” and other evidence of adaptation in the face of ASD-related risk. We suggest that a resilience framework invites focal questions about the nature, timing, levels, interactions, and mechanisms by which positive adaptation occurs in relation to risk and developmental pathways toward and away from ASD-related difficulties. We conclude with recommendations for future research, including more focus on adaptive development and multisystem processes, pathways away from disorder, and reconsideration of extant evidence within an integrated risk-and-resilience framework.
... One cannot rule out, however, that sex-linked infant behaviors may elicit these differences in maternal behaviors. For example, when the two sexes were compared in one study (Connellan et al., 2000), male neonates exhibited a stronger interest in a physical-mechanical mobile, whereas female infants showed greater interest in a face (but see Maylott et al., 2021). In non-human primates, female infants reared in a neonatal nursery, where they have no experience with adult monkeys, look longer at computer generated faces and engage in more social affiliative behaviors with their human caregivers than males (Simpson et al., 2016). ...
Article
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A μ-opioid receptor (OPRM1) single-nucleotide-polymorphism, found in both humans and rhesus macaques mediates the mother-infant attachment bond. Because mothers treat their sons and daughters differently, it is somewhat surprising that the role of infant sex has not been assessed in the context of a maternal-OPRM1-genotype-by-infant-sex interaction. The present study investigates the effect of maternal-OPRM1-genotype and infant sex on mother-infant behaviors. Over the first 6 months of offspring life, mother-infant behavioral data assessing attachment quality was collected twice weekly from a large number of rhesus monkey mother-infant pairs (N = 161 dyads; n = 64 female infants, n = 97 male infants). Mothers were genotyped for OPRM1 variation. Factor analysis of the observed behaviors showed two factors: Attachment (maternal-infant cradling, rejections, and infant approaches and leaves), and Maternal Restraints (mother restrains infant, preventing exploration). Further analyses showed a two-way, maternal-genotype-by-infant-sex interaction for both factors. For Attachment, mothers with the CC genotype cradled and restrained (Maternal Restraints) their female infants more and rejected them less, when compared to female infants of CG mothers. Perhaps as a consequence, female infants of CC genotype mothers approached and left their mothers less often, when compared to female infants of CG mothers, likely an indication that female infants from mothers with CG genotype play a greater role in maintaining the mother-infant bond than do female infants from CC genotype mothers. This finding may also indicate a more secure attachment in infants from CC genotype mothers. Unlike female infants, on average, the mother-infant relationship of dyads with a male infant was largely undifferentiated by maternal genotype. These findings suggest that, in contrast to female infants from CG mothers, CC mothers and their female infants appear to have a closer mother-infant relationship which may portend close life-long bonds, as mothers and female offspring remain together throughout life. Male offspring appear to have a more aloof mother-infant bond regardless of OPRM1-genotype. The results of this study indicate that maternal-OPRM1 variation mediates mother-infant attachment behaviors for female infants and has less effect for male infants. This suggests that offspring sex should be included in studies investigating the effect of maternal-OPRM1 genotype on the mother-infant attachment relationship.
... Infant girls also show stronger visual preferences for an object with human attributes than for a mechanical object (Alexander et al., 2009), while the reverse has been observed among infant boys presenting a pervasive visual interest for mechanical devices by birth (Connellan et al., 2000) until the first year of life (Benenson et al., 2004). ...
Article
The topic of typical sex and gender difference in empathy is examined in both a developmental and neuroscientific perspective. Empathy is construed as a multi-layered phenomenon with various degrees of complexity unfolding in ontogeny. The different components of empathy (i.e., affective, cognitive, and prosocial motivation) will be discussed as they interact and are expressed behaviorally. Significant sex/gender differences in empathy are discussed in relation to putative bottom-up or top-down processes underlying empathetic responses. The early onset and the pervasive presence of such sex/gender differences throughout the lifespan are further discussed in light of social and neurobiological modeling factors, including early socialization, brain's structural/functional variances, as well as genetics and hormonal factors.
... Indeed, the effect of sex hormones on brain development in utero seems to account for many of the stereotypical differences between men and women, differences that have been observed even prior to any cultural influences. A study of 1-day-old infants, for example, revealed that the girls preferred to look at faces, and the boys preferred to look at mechanical objects (Connelan et al., 2000). Interestingly, girls exposed to high testosterone levels in the womb (due to a disorder of sexual development known as congenital adrenal hyperplasia) tend to have more male-typical personality traits and toy preferences (Nordenstrom et al., 2002;Matthews et al., 2009). ...
Article
In this article, I explore difficult and sensitive questions regarding the nature of transgender identity claims and the appropriate medical treatment for those suffering from gender dysphoria. I first analyze conceptions of transgender identity, highlighting the prominence of the wrong-body narrative and its dualist presuppositions. I then briefly argue that dualism is false because our bodily identity (including our body’s biological organization for sexual reproduction as male or female) is essential and intrinsic to our overall personal identity and explain why a sound, nondualist anthropology implies that gender identity cannot be entirely divorced from sexual identity. Finally, I make the case that arguments in favor of hormonal and surgical treatments for gender dysphoria rest on this mistaken dualist anthropology, and that these treatments therefore give false hope to those suffering from gender dysphoria, while causing irreversible bodily harm and diverting attention from underlying psychological problems that often need to be addressed. I also briefly discuss how these philosophical claims relate to empirical studies on the outcomes of hormonal and surgical treatments for gender dysphoria and to testimonies of transgender individuals who regret having undergone these treatments.
... One explanation for the stronger association between infant's self-comforting behavior and ToM in female children might be, that female infants are more sensitive to social signals, as it was shown that newborn and 12-month-old females show higher preferences for social stimuli than non-social stimuli in comparison to males (Connellan et al., 2000;Lutchmaya and Baron-Cohen, 2002). It is possible, that female infants are more sensitive to identify and adapt to insensitive maternal caregiving and that they are able to perpetuate the self-directed regulatory style into later development. ...
Article
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A milestone of child development is theory of mind (ToM): the ability to attribute mental states, especially beliefs and desires, to other persons and to understand that their behavior is guided by mental states. The learning process about the mental world also takes place in social communication and interaction, beginning in infancy. Infancy is assumed to be a sensitive period for the development of social skills through interaction. Due to limited self-regulatory skills, infants depend on sensitive behavior of their caregivers to regulate affective states and physiological arousal, and in turn, mutually regulated affects allow the infant to gradually acquire the capability to self-regulate negative affective states. Effective and adequate affect regulation is an important prerequisite for environmental interaction and thus for the development of socio-emotional skills. The present study investigated the relation of self-regulatory abilities in infancy and later ToM in pre-school aged children of clinically depressed mothers and healthy controls. The sample comprised of N = 55 mother–child dyads, n = 22 diagnosed with postpartum or lifetime depression according to DSM-IV and n = 33 healthy controls. Mother–infant-interaction was videotaped during the Face-to-Face Still-Face paradigm. At 3 and 42 months postpartum mothers were interviewed with the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis I Disorders (SCID-I) to evaluate maternal psychopathological status according to DSM-IV. At the age of M = 4.0 years, children’s ToM abilities were assessed using content-false-belief and location-false-belief tasks. The results of this study show that contrary to our hypotheses, maternal depression did not impair the development of children’s ToM-abilities per se . Rather, an interaction effect highlights the role of infant’s self-comforting behavior during mother–infant interaction in infancy (3 months postpartum) for ToM-development at pre-school age assessed with the Maxi-task; this association was distinct for female in comparison to male children. The results of this longitudinal study shed light on the discussion, how maternal depression influences child development and point in the direction that self-comforting behaviors in infancy can also be seen as a resource.
... Adams et al., 1995;Fivush et al., 2000;Garside & Klimes-Dougan, 2002;Goodwin, 2006;Malatesta & Haviland, 1982); more attunement to social stimuli, such as faces, voices, and gestures (e.g. Connellan et al., 2000;Hittelman & Dickes, 1979;Mundy et al., 2007;Osofsky & O'Connell, 1977); and more accurate assumption of others' perspectives (e.g. pretend play; Harrop et al., 2017). ...
Article
Lay abstract: When toddlers are suspected of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), the gold-standard assessment technique is with the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, 2nd edition (ADOS-2) Toddler Module, a behavioral observation system. ASD is a neurodevelopmental condition more frequently diagnosed in toddler boys than in toddler girls. There is some evidence that the ADOS-2 assesses behaviors that are more characteristic of boys with ASD than girls. Thus, it is possible that focusing on these behaviors contributes at least in part to why more boys are diagnosed than girls. Specifically, girls may show more social skills than boys during the ADOS-2 assessment due to their socialization histories, which may lead to missed diagnoses of ASD in toddler girls. The current study examined eight social behaviors assessed by the ADOS-2 in a sample of toddlers with suspected ASD to see if they contributed differently to the total score of those items. Examination of those items suggested that those social communication behaviors work the same for boys and girls with suspected ASD, which was inconsistent with hypotheses. However, examination of particular items raises the possibility of examining creative/imaginative play as an area for future research.
... As well as marked variation within the sexes, there are also important differences between the sexes in the ageing process. This is not a surprising revelation if we take into account that sexodimorphic features can be found even during the in utero period (Dearden et al., 2018), are expressed behaviourally just a few hours after birth (Connellan et al., 2000) and affect the whole process of growing and behaving through infancy, youth and adulthood (e.g. Duren et al., 2013;Ngun et al., 2011). ...
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Developments in the last century have led to an unprecedented increase in life expectancy. These changes open opportunities for humans to grow and develop in healthy and adaptive ways, adding life to years as well as years to life. There are also challenges, however - as we live longer, a greater number of people will experience chronic illness and disability, often linked to lifestyle factors. The current paper advances an argument that there are fundamental biological sex differences which, sometimes directly and sometime mediated by lifestyle factors, underpin the marked differences in morbidity and mortality that we find between the sexes. Furthermore, we argue that it is necessary to consider sex as a key factor in research on healthy ageing, allowing for the possibility that different patterns exist between males and females, and that therefore different approaches and interventions are required to optimise healthy ageing in both sexes.
... Similarly, this effect has been found in some studies with adults, where women are reported to have better memory for female faces compared to men (see review by Herlitz & Loven, 2013). Some proposed explanations to this effect are 1) we have larger female than male faces experience during early years as most infants are taken care by female primary caregivers (Rennel & Davis, 2008) 2) infant girls attend and have more eye-to-eye contact than boys (Connellan et al, 2000). ...
Thesis
The ability to recognize and categorise different faces proficiently has social advantages. This thesis addresses two questions: 1) how differential experience affects the development of face processing, specifically in two areas: recognition and categorising of faces and 2) how differential experience affects the way children use phenotype cues in detecting kinship relation. Four studies were conducted: The effect of differential experience (EDE) in infants face recognition (Study 1); The EDE in children and adult face recognition (Study 2); The EDE on children categorisation of faces (Study 3) and the EDE on pre-schoolers detection of kinship relations among stranger faces (Study 4)In study 1, face recognition was compared between infants from a multiracial population (Malaysia) and infants from a monoracial population (UK). We investigated face recognition of 4 and 9 months old Chinese infants from Malaysia using female and male faces that are of infants own-race (Chinese), experienced other-race (Malay) and less experienced other-race (Caucasian White). 4-month-olds recognized Chinese female faces, while 9-month-olds recognized Chinese and Malaysian female faces. Infants did not recognize male faces. British infants, on the other hand, recognized the faces of women and men of their own type. It appears that for infants born and raised in a multiracial environment, there is a developmental shift from a female based own-race recognition advantage to a female based own and experienced other-race advantage that may relate to infants’ social and caregiving experiences.In study 2, the other race effect was investigated in Malaysian adults and children. In adults, with increasing exposure to multi-races over the years, Malaysian adults develop equal ability to recognise own and frequently exposed other-race faces. In children, development of own-race recognition advantage to high-frequency other-race recognition advantage begins to change in childhood. While it appears that certain exposure to other-race faces affects the ORE, the relationship between exposure and face recognition is inconsistent within the Malaysian children tested indicating the ORE is still malleable during childhood.In study 3, 7 and 9-year-old Malaysian children and adult’s categorization of (a) own-race, (b) high-frequency other-race and (c) low-frequency other-race faces were investigated. Whereas the other-race categorization advantage was found in the accuracy data of Malay adults, other aspects of performance were supportive of either the social categorization or perceptual expertise accounts and were dependent on the race (Malay vs. Chinese) or age (child vs. adult) of the participants. Of particular significance is the finding that Malaysian Chinese children and adults categorized own-race Chinese faces more rapidly than high-frequency other-race Malay faces. Thus the other-race categorization advantage seems to be more an advantage for racial categories of lesser experience regardless of whether these face categories are own-race or other-race.In study 4, we examined whether the ability to detect kinship in unrelated faces in preschool children was influenced by their exposure to different race faces. We compared pre-schoolers born and raised in a multiracial environment (Malaysia) and those raised in a monoracial environment (France). The multiracial environment did give an advantage in detection of kinship performance, pre-schoolers from mixed-race families were better in the kinship-matching task performance. The results suggest that perhaps a direct experience with mixed race families is a key for children to understand biological inheritance.Taken together, the results provide insights on the EDE in face recognition, categorisation and kinship detection.
... The genetic factor is evident even in oneday-old babies, as Cambridge University researcher, Jennifer Connellan, found when she studied the response of one-day-old infants to either a face or a mechanical mobile. 8 Baby girls preferred the face while the baby boys were more fascinated by the mobile. ...
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When Lady Gaga released the song Born This Way in February 2011, the response was phenomenal. The song reached number one in 19 countries, including Australia, Austria, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland and Sweden. In the United States, it topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart for six weeks. And it became the fastest-selling song in iTunes history, selling one million copies in five days. Why?
... We additionally observed gender differences in infants' attention to internal face features during the dynamic messages and their subsequent gaze cueing responses. Unlike past studies (Connellan et al., 2000;Gluckman & Johnson, 2013), we found that male and female infants showed similar overall looking to the videos. However, female infants showed increased attention to the eyes throughout the dynamic videos. ...
Article
Infants often experience interactions in which caregivers use dynamic messages to convey their affective and communicative intent. These dynamic emotional messages may shape the development of emotion discrimination skills and shared attention by influencing infants’ attention to internal facial features and their responses to eye gaze cues. However, past research examining infants’ responses to emotional faces has predominantly focused on classic, stereotyped expressions (e.g., happy, sad, angry) that may not reflect the variability that infants experience in their daily interactions. The present study therefore examined forty-two 6-month-old infants’ attention to eyes vs. mouth and gaze cueing responses across multiple dynamic emotional messages that are common to infant-directed interactions. Overall, infants looked more to the eyes during messages with negative affect, but this increased attention to the eyes during these message conditions did not directly facilitate gaze cueing. Infants instead showed reliable gaze cueing only after messages with positive and neutral affect. We additionally observed gender differences in infants’ attention to internal face features and subsequent gaze cueing responses. Female infants spent more time looking at the eyes during the dynamic emotional messages and showed increased initial orienting and longer looking to gaze-cued objects following positive messages, whereas male infants showed these gaze cueing effects following neutral messages. These results suggest that variability in caregivers’ communication can shape infants’ attention to and processing of emotion and gaze information.
... Some gender-based differences in our behavior emerge so early on that they can only have arisen in the womb. As early as the first day after birth, girl babies prefer to look at faces, while boy babies prefer to look at mechanical moving objects (Connellan et al., 2000). At 1 year of age, girls already make more eye contact than boys, while girls exposed to too much testosterone in the womb make less eye contact later in childhood (Baron-Cohen et al., 2005). ...
Chapter
Gender identity (an individual's perception of being male or female) and sexual orientation (heterosexuality, homosexuality, or bisexuality) are programmed into our brain during early development. During the intrauterine period in the second half of pregnancy, a testosterone surge masculinizes the fetal male brain. If such a testosterone surge does not occur, this will result in a feminine brain. As sexual differentiation of the brain takes place at a much later stage in development than sexual differentiation of the genitals, these two processes can be influenced independently of each other and can result in gender dysphoria. Nature produces a great variability for all aspects of sexual differentiation of the brain. Mechanisms involved in sexual differentiation of the brain include hormones, genetics, epigenetics, endocrine disruptors, immune response, and self-organization. Furthermore, structural and functional differences in the hypothalamus relating to gender dysphoria and sexual orientation are described in this review. All the genetic, postmortem, and in vivo scanning observations support the neurobiological theory about the origin of gender dysphoria, i.e., it is the sizes of brain structures, the neuron numbers, the molecular composition, functions, and connectivity of brain structures that determine our gender identity or sexual orientation. There is no evidence that one's postnatal social environment plays a crucial role in the development of gender identity or sexual orientation.
... 71 The sex difference in functional connectivity we have identified in this region is especially interesting in the context of behavioural data in which female neonates, compared to males, show increased preference for looking at faces. 72 Sex differences in visual attention to social stimuli have also been described in older infants 73 and in other newborn primates. 74 Structural brain development is sexually dimorphic, with small differences in tissue morphometry observed across the lifespan, frequently involving the temporal lobes, and under the influence of foetal testosterone in males. ...
... Another argument in favor of a biological basis of gender differences in empathy is that human female infants exhibit rudimentary forms of empathy more strongly than male infants, responding more strongly to social emotional stimuli than male infants. For instance, female neonates cry more often and for longer when hearing another infant cry (e.g., Simner, 1971), they make more eye contact (Hittelman and Dickes, 1979), and more likely to orient to faces (Connellan et al., 2000). While these findings do not necessarily mean that females have a genetic predisposition to be more empathetic or to take someone else's perspective, these behavioral differences show that female infants are more socially interested and, therefore, have more opportunities to learn about other people's states and perspectives. ...
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Bilingual speakers have often been found to be superior in taking the perspective of another person. Also, females are commonly found to have enhanced perspective taking (PT) abilities compared with males, with male PT being generally more easily affected by external factors. The present study investigated whether bilingualism improves PT in males more strongly than in females. In total, 108 bilingual and 108 matched monolingual adults, with equal numbers of males and females, filled in the PT subscale of the Interpersonal Reactivity index. While monolinguals showed the typical result of females scoring higher on PT than males, scores of male and female bilinguals did not differ, with both bilingual groups scoring as high as female monolinguals. Thus, bilingualism enhanced self-reported PT only in males, suggesting that male PT can be enhanced through socialization.
... Females show earlier and stronger social development (Barbu et al., 2011), including greater social communication skills (Frazier et al., 2014), and appear to be relatively protected from ASD and related neurodevelopmental conditions (Zablotsky et al., 2019). Prior research suggests that stronger social attention in females is observable even in neonates (Connellan et al., 2000). As an early-developing cognitive process, social attention differences are likely to be a key early mediator of later differences in more complex social behaviors, such as F I G U R E 4 Receiver operating characteristic curves with support vector machine model probabilities predicting any developmental disability (a-blue) and autism spectrum disorder diagnosis (b-orange). ...
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The primary objectives of this study were to evaluate the structure and age‐related stability of social attention in English and Arabic‐speaking youth and to compare social attention between children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), other developmental disabilities (DD), and typically‐developing controls. Eye‐tracking data were collected from US (N = 270) and Qatari (N = 242) youth ages 1–17, including children evaluated for possible ASD. Participants viewed 44 stimuli from seven social paradigms. Fixation was computed for areas of interest within each stimulus. Latent variable models examined the structure of social attention. Generalized estimating equation models examined the effect of age, sex, culture, and diagnostic group on social attention. The best‐fitting model included a general social attention factor and six specific factors. Cultural differences in social attention were minimal and social attention was stable across age (r = 0.03), but females showed significantly greater social attention than males (d = 0.28). Social attention was weaker in DD (d = −0.17) and lowest in ASD (d = −0.38) relative to controls. Differences were of sufficient magnitude across areas‐of‐interest to reliably differentiate DD from controls (AUC = 0.80) and ASD‐only from all other cases (AUC = 0.76). A social attention dimension that represents an early‐life preference for socially salient information was identified. This preference was cross‐culturally consistent and stable across development but stronger in females and weaker in DD, especially ASD. Given rapid and easy‐to‐collect remote eye tracking administration, social attention measurement may be useful for developmental monitoring. Acquisition of population norms, analogous to height/weight/head circumference, might enhance early screening and tracking of neurodevelopment. Lay Summary This research found that social attention is a single dimension of behavior that represents a strong preference for social stimuli, is consistent across cultures, stable across age, and stronger in females. Children with developmental disabilities had lower levels of social attention than neurotypical children and children with autism spectrum disorder had the lowest levels of social attention.
... In humans, reduced functional connectivity of the fusiform face area is associated with developmental prosopagnosia (Lohse et al., 2016). The sex difference in functional connectivity we have identified in this region is especially interesting in the context of behavioural data in which female neonates, compared to males, show increased preference for looking at faces (Connellan et al., 2000). Sex differences in visual attention to social stimuli have also been described in older infants (Alexander et al., 2009) and in other newborn primates (Simpson et al., 2016). ...
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The Developing Human Connectome Project (dHCP) is an Open Science project which provides the first large sample of neonatal functional MRI (fMRI) data with high temporal and spatial resolution. This data enables mapping of intrinsic functional connectivity between spatially distributed brain regions under normal and adverse perinatal circumstances, offering a framework to study the ontogeny of large-scale brain organisation in humans. Here, we characterise in unprecedented detail the maturation and integrity of resting-state networks (RSNs) at term-equivalent age in 337 infants (including 65 born preterm). First, we applied group independent component analysis (ICA) to define 11 RSNs in term-born infants scanned at 43.5-44.5 weeks postmenstrual age (PMA). Adult-like topography was observed in RSNs encompassing primary sensorimotor, visual and auditory cortices. Among six higher-order, association RSNs, analogues of the adult networks for language and ocular control were identified, but a complete default mode network precursor was not. Next, we regressed the subject-level datasets from an independent cohort of infants scanned at 37-43.5 weeks PMA against the group-level RSNs to test for the effects of age, sex and preterm birth. Brain mapping in term-born infants revealed areas of positive association with age across four of six association RSNs, indicating active maturation in functional connectivity from 37 to 43.5 weeks PMA. Female infants showed increased connectivity in inferotemporal regions of the visual association network. Preterm birth was associated with striking impairments of functional connectivity across all RSNs in a dose-dependent manner; conversely, connectivity of the superior parietal lobules within the lateral motor network was abnormally increased in preterm infants, suggesting a possible mechanism for specific difficulties such as developmental coordination disorder which occur frequently in preterm children. Overall, we find a robust, modular, symmetrical functional brain organisation at normal term age. A complete set of adult-equivalent primary RSNs is already instated, alongside emerging connectivity in immature association RSNs, consistent with a primary-to-higher-order ontogenetic sequence of brain development. The early developmental disruption imposed by preterm birth is associated with extensive alterations in functional connectivity.
... showed that in 12-month-old infants, male infants made less eye contact than female infants. Also, male infants looked toward faces less than females (Connellan et al., 2000;. ...
... Dans cet article, Baron-Cohen et coll. prétendent être les premiers à prouver qu'il existe des différences notables et importantes dans le comportement des bébés de différents sexes [4]. Ils soutiennent que de façon générale, les garçons naissent avec un plus grand intérêt pour les objets mécaniques et abstraits et qu'en revanche, les filles sont dotées de meilleures compétences sociales. ...
... From the first post-natal days, sex differences are expressed in human behavior. Female neonates and young girls prefer looking at human faces, while male infants look more at mechanical mobiles (LoBue & DeLoache, 2009;Connellan et al., 2000). ...
Preprint
The origins of bodily sex are well understood but consensus on origins for gender are missing. While gonadal sex and sexual orientation are accepted as emanating from genetic and hormonal templates, gender’s existence, when it is acknowledged, currently has so far emanated from either social origins or a nebulous ‘somewhere’ in the brain. Although the characteristics of sex-related behavior relative to the physicality of reproduction are clearly dimorphic, other cognitive behaviors relative to reproduction have not been explicitly identified and presented. This article synthesizes important research to present a biological location of gender as opposed to sex. These cognitive behaviors can be differentially linked with reproduction throughout the lifespan. A physiological location for gender in the human phenotype may help advance this research further.
... Esta conclusión se basa en los resultados de un experimento realizado con bebes recién nacidos en el cual se les presentaba una persona activa y expresiva o un objeto inanimado de similar tamaño. Los bebés varones miraban durante más tiempo al objeto y las bebés niñas miraban más tiempo a la persona [17]. A partir de este resultado se interpretó que los bebes varones, al focalizarse en objetos, se convierten en "sistematizadores" que se involucran más con el mundo mecánico y con los sistemas abstractos como las matemáticas [18]. ...
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2 | Resumen: Actualmente se conoce que existen redes cerebrales específicas responsables de capacidades básicas que están estrechamente relacionadas con el aprendizaje de las matemáticas y la lectura. Estas capacidades se observan temprano en los bebés y son parte del "kit inicial" para entender números o palabras escritas. Este curso se enfocará en tres temas principales: 1) las capacidades neurocognitivas y la competencia académica en el desarrollo típico y atípico; 2) las herramientas para el cribado, perfiles y capacitación de las capacidades neurocognitivas; 3) los nuevos programas para mejorar el desarrollo neurocognitivo en los estudiantes. Se discutirá la implicación de estas cuestiones en las prácticas y políticas educativas. 3 | Contenidos
... Sex differences in socio-emotional processing begin in early development and persist into adulthood (Connellan et al., 2000;Knickmeyer and Baron-Cohen, 2006;Proverbio, 2017;Olderbak et al., 2019). For example, female children and adults score higher on empathy compared to male counterparts Auyeung et al., 2009). ...
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Background: Approximately 50,000 U.S. teens with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) become adults every year, however little is known regarding how age influences social cognition and if men and women with ASD are differentially impacted across the adult lifespan. Social cognition declines non-linearly with age in neurotypical (NT) adults. Moreover, sex differences have been observed on RME tasks in NT adults but not adults with ASD, although aging effects have been largely ignored. Objective: This cross-sectional study examined the influence of age and sex on social cognition in adults with ASD compared to NT adults. Methods: The Reading the Mind in the Eyes (RME) task was administered to evaluate the theory of mind abilities in 95 adults with ASD and 82 NT adults ages 18–71 years. The main effects of diagnosis, age, and sex, as well as two-way and three-way interaction were modeled using linear and quadratic aging terms in a multiple regression analysis. Results: A main effect of diagnosis was observed, indicating poorer performance in adults with ASD relative to NT adults. Age and sex interactions were nonsignificant. Discussion: We replicated previous findings of reduced theory of mind (ToM) abilities in adults with ASD, compared to NT adults. While interactions were nonsignificant, visual inspection of quadratic age curves indicated the possibility of unique ToM trajectories in men and women with and without ASD that should be investigated in larger longitudinal studies.
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Early life environments afford infants a variety of learning opportunities, and caregivers play a fundamental role in shaping infant early life experience. Variation in maternal attitudes and parenting practices is likely to be greater between than within cultures. However, there is limited cross-cultural work characterising how early life environment differs across populations. We examined the early life environment of infants from two cultural contexts where attitudes towards parenting and infant development were expected to differ: in a group of 53 mother-infant dyads in the UK and 44 mother-infant dyads in Uganda. Participants were studied longitudinally from when infants were 3– to 15–months-old. Questionnaire data revealed the Ugandan mothers had more relational attitudes towards parenting than the mothers from the UK, who had more autonomous parenting attitudes. Using questionnaires and observational methods, we examined whether infant development and experience aligned with maternal attitudes. We found the Ugandan infants experienced a more relational upbringing than the UK infants, with Ugandan infants receiving more distributed caregiving, more body contact with their mothers, and more proximity to mothers at night. Ugandan infants also showed earlier physical development compared to UK infants. Contrary to our expectations, however, Ugandan infants were not in closer proximity to their mothers during the day, did not have more people in proximity or more partners for social interaction compared to UK infants. In addition, when we examined attitudes towards specific behaviours, mothers’ attitudes rarely predicted infant experience in related contexts. Taken together our findings highlight the importance of measuring behaviour, rather than extrapolating expected behaviour based on attitudes alone. We found infants’ early life environment varies cross-culturally in many important ways and future research should investigate the consequences of these differences for later development.
Thesis
Les individus suivent le regard d’autrui dans la direction indiquée par ce regard. Cet effet d’indiçage par le regard est robuste chez les adultes sans trouble. Cette thèse interroge l’applicabilité de cet effet en clinique. Les patients cérébro-lésés droits peuvent se mettre à ignorer leur espace gauche. Ce syndrome de négligence spatiale unilatérale (NSU) entrave la récupération fonctionnelle des patients. Nos travaux ont pour objectif de développer un outil d’évaluation afin de déterminer si un patient avec NSU utilise le regard d’autrui pour explorer son espace négligé. Cela pourrait être un levier de compensation. Le développement de l’outil s’est fait en trois phases. La première devait déterminer si la tâche de type Posner était adaptée aux patients avec NSU. Les résultats ont montré que la tâche devait être simplifiée. De plus, les résultats ont montré des profils variés de patients : répondeurs dans leur espace négligé au regard, d’autres à une flèche, d’autres à aucun indice ou bien aux deux. Dans la deuxième phase, nous avons simplifié la tâche et mesuré les mêmes effets d’indiçage dans quatre populations : des adultes jeunes et âgés sans trouble et des patients cérébro-lésés droits avec et sans NSU. Nous avons montré que les effets d’indiçage étaient peu impactés par l’âge, ou par une lésion cérébrale droite, mais était bien impactés par la NSU. Notre version de la tâche était bien adaptée aux patients. La troisième phase correspond à l’étalonnage de l’outil final auprès de la population générale. Cet outil mesure l’effet d’indiçage par le regard, mais également cumulé au pointage du doigt. Nos résultats confirment que notre outil mesure des effets d’indiçage robustes et non impactés par le vieillissement dans la population générale.
Chapter
Ausgehend von einer skizzierenden Darstellung des aktuellen Paradigmenwechsels in der medizinisch-psychologischen Fachwelt hin zu einem nicht pathologisierenden Verständnis von geschlechtsnonkonformen Lebensformen und eingebettet in die sich daraus ergebenden medizinethischen Implikationen wird der aktuelle Wissensstand zur Entwicklung der Geschlechtsidentität und ihrer Varianten dargestellt. Die große phänomenologische Bandbreite und Prävalenz der Geschlechtsinkongruenz im Kindes- und Jugendalter, die sowohl normvariante als auch psychopathologische Auffälligkeiten umfasst, wird im Entwicklungsverlauf dargestellt, ebenso wie die diagnostischen Kriterien einer Geschlechtsdysphorie sowie der Wissensstand zur Ätiologie der persistierenden Transidentität und ihrer Prädiktoren in der Kindheit. Das dezidierte Vorgehen bei der Behandlung geschlechtsdysphorischer Kinder und Jugendlicher nebst Begleitung und Unterstützung ihrer sozialen Transition wird auf der Basis aktueller fachlicher Standards ausgeführt.
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Since large eyes are often perceived to enhance facial attractiveness, many individuals are motivated to change their eyes' appearance. Colored contact lenses are often used by young women to darken the limbal rings of their irides, to increase their facial attractiveness. Among Westerners, wearing contact lenses with limbal rings enhances facial attractiveness; a similar effect might exist for East Asians whose irides are darker; although, the mechanism underlying these preferences in Westerners and East Asians might differ. In this study, we investigated whether larger irides increased the attractiveness of Japanese and Chinese women, and whether this effect was accompanied by changes in perceived friendliness or youthfulness. We manipulated eye size by enlarging only the iris or the whole eye, and asked participants to rate face stimuli in terms of facial attractiveness, friendliness, and youthfulness. We found that larger irides enhanced not only attractiveness but also perceived youthfulness and friendliness, and that there was a significant correlation between attractiveness and friendliness. Further, iris-enlarged faces were perceived as more attractive even when the iris was originally dark, as enlarged dark irides were confused with dilated pupils, which are often perceived as a sign of attraction.
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Self-face recognition is closely related to self-awareness and mental health. Although perceived threats influence self-face recognition, whether and how threats in social and natural scenes affect self-face recognition remain unclear. In addition, men and women show different sensitivities to social and natural threats. The current study explored how scene and sex modulate the effect of threats on self-face recognition. Men and women judged the familiarity of a target face (self, friend, or stranger) in a social or natural scene (threatening vs. neutral). In women, socially threatening scenes (vs. socially neutral scenes) inhibited the speed of recognizing self- and friend-faces but not stranger-faces, whereas in men, naturally threatening scenes (vs. naturally neutral scenes) inhibited the accuracy of recognizing stranger-faces but not self- or friend-faces. Our findings suggest that scenes containing social threats only affected facial recognition in women and caused them to spend more time processing self-and friend-faces, whereas scenes with natural threats only affected facial recognition in men by decreasing the accuracy for recognizing stranger-faces to indirectly ensure high accuracy for recognizing self- and friend-faces.
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There is tentative evidence that infants can learn preferences through evaluative conditioning to socioemotional stimuli. However, the early development of evaluative conditioning and the factors that may explain infants’ capacity to learn through evaluative conditioning are not well understood. Infants (N = 319; 50.2% boys) participated in a longitudinal study where an evaluative conditioning paradigm using socioemotional stimuli was conducted on two occasions (when infants were 7 and 14 months old, on average). We tested whether repeatedly pairing neutral stimuli (triangular and square shapes) with affective stimuli (angry and happy faces) affects infants’ preferences for these shapes. At both timepoints, the majority of infants did not choose the shape that was paired with happy faces, indicating that, in general, learning through evaluative conditioning was not present. However, as expected, individual differences were evident such that infants who spent more time fixating on faces compared to shapes (face‐preferrers) during the conditioning trials were significantly more likely than non‐face‐preferrers to choose the shape paired with happy faces, and this effect strengthened with increasing age.
Chapter
In keiner anderen Entwicklungsphase erweitert das Kind seine Fähigkeiten mehr als im Alter zwischen ein und vier Jahren. Es entwickelt ein Verständnis für räumliche, zeitliche und kausale Zusammenhänge, lernt die Sprache und wie es mit anderen Menschen wirksam kommunizieren kann. Außerdem entwickelt es die Fähigkeit, die Wünsche und Vorstellungen von anderen Menschen zu verstehen – die sogenannte Theory of Mind. Auch erweitert es seinen Bewegungsradius und wird zunehmend selbstständiger. Gleichzeitig bleibt es aber emotional stark an seine Bezugspersonen gebunden und kann nicht ohne sie sein. Besonders in der frühen Kindheit zeigt sich, wie unterschiedlich rasch die Entwicklung von Kindern erfolgt (beispielsweise in der motorischen Entwicklung). Auch weist die Sauberkeitsentwicklung eine außerordentlich große Spannbreite auf. Diese große Variabilität kann stark verunsichern, ist aber durchaus normal. Besonders die frühe Kindheit zeigt, dass jedes Kind sein eigenes Entwicklungstempo hat.
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The categorization of dominant facial features, such as sex, is a highly relevant function for social interaction. It has been found that attributes of the perceiver, such as their biological sex, influence the perception of sexually dimorphic facial features with women showing higher recognition performance for female faces than men. However, evidence on how aspects closely related to biological sex influence face sex categorization are scarce. Using a previously validated set of sex-morphed facial images (morphed from male to female and vice versa), we aimed to investigate the influence of the participant’s gender role identification and sexual orientation on face sex categorization, besides their biological sex. Image ratings, questionnaire data on gender role identification and sexual orientation were collected from 67 adults (34 females). Contrary to previous literature, biological sex per se was not significantly associated with image ratings. However, an influence of participant sexual attraction and gender role identity became apparent: participants identifying with male gender attributes and showing attraction toward females perceived masculinized female faces as more male and femininized male faces as more female when compared to participants identifying with female gender attributes and attraction toward males. Considering that we found these effects in a predominantly cisgender and heterosexual sample, investigation of face sex perception in individuals identifying with a gender different from their assigned sex (i.e., transgender people) might provide further insights into how assigned sex and gender identity are related.
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Both the movements of people and inanimate objects are intimately bound up with physical causality. Furthermore, in contrast to object movements, causal relationships between limb movements controlled by humans and their body displacements uniquely reflect agency and goal-directed actions in support of social causality. To investigate the development of sensitivity to causal movements, we examined the looking behavior of infants between 9 and 18 months of age when viewing movements of humans and objects. We also investigated whether individual differences in gender and gross motor functions may impact the development of the visual preferences for causal movements. In Experiment 1, infants were presented with walking stimuli showing either normal body translation or a “moonwalk” that reversed the horizontal motion of body translations. In Experiment 2, infants were presented with unperformable actions beyond infants’ gross motor functions (i.e., long jump) either with or without ecologically valid body displacement. In Experiment 3, infants were presented with rolling movements of inanimate objects that either complied with or violated physical causality. We found that female infants showed longer looking times to normal walking stimuli than to moonwalk stimuli, but did not differ in their looking time to movements of inanimate objects and unperformable actions. In contrast, male infants did not show sensitivity to causal movement for either category. Additionally, female infants looked longer at social stimuli of human actions than male infants. Under the tested circumstances, our findings indicate that female infants have developed a sensitivity to causal consistency between limb movements and body translations of biological motion, only for actions with previous visual and motor exposures, and demonstrate a preference toward social information.
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Eye contact enhances memory for spoken words. The present research examined if a similar effect occurs when one observes rather than experiences eye contact, and whether the effect extends to situations where physical presence is eliminated (i.e., video-conferencing). In two studies a live investigator read words aloud while making eye contact with a participant, their partner, or neither individual (baseline); either in person (Experiment 1) or over Skype (Experiment 2). Replicating and extending previous work, experiencing eye contact improved word recognition. However, observing eye contact between a partner and the investigator resulted in a significant decline in memory performance only when experienced in person (Experiment 1). The results indicate that during a group-interaction, eye contact communicates for whom the message is intended, and this increases memory performance for the person who experiences eye contact, and decreases performance for the excluded individual when eye contact is observed in person.
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Purpose Extensive research suggests that maternal prenatal distress is reliably related to perinatal and child health outcomes—which may persist into adulthood. However, basic questions remain regarding mechanisms involved. To better understand these mechanisms, we developed the Understanding Pregnancy Signals and Infant Development (UPSIDE) cohort study, which has several distinguishing features, including repeated assessments across trimesters, analysis of multiple biological pathways of interest, and incorporation of placental structure and function as mediators of child health outcomes. Participants Women with normal risk pregnancies were recruited at <14 weeks gestation. Study visits occurred in each trimester and included extensive psychological, sociodemographic, health behaviour and biospecimen collection. Placenta and cord blood were collected at birth. Child visits (ongoing) occur at birth and 1, 6, 12, 24, 36 and 48 months of age and use standard anthropometric, clinical, behavioural, biological and neuroimaging methods to assess child physical and neurodevelopment. Findings to date We recruited 326 pregnancies; 294 (90%) were retained through birth. Success rates for prenatal biospecimen collection were high across all trimesters (96%–99% for blood, 94%–97% for urine, 96%–99% for saliva, 96% of placentas, 88% for cord blood and 93% for buccal swab). Ninety-four per cent of eligible babies (n=277) participated in a birth examination; postnatal visits are ongoing. Future plans The current phase of the study follows children through age 4 to examine child neurodevelopment and physical development. In addition, the cohort participates in the National Institutes of Health’s Environmental influences on Child Health Outcomes programme, a national study of 50 000 families examining early environmental influences on perinatal outcomes, neurodevelopment, obesity and airway disease. Future research will leverage the rich repository of biological samples and clinical data to expand research on the mechanisms of child health outcomes in relation to environmental chemical exposures, genetics and the microbiome.
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Pattern recognition system developers have looked in multiple directions over the years and designed a broad spectrum of methodologies for face identification and verification, both in 2D and 3D. These techniques rely on sound methods and experimentations, and currently give high to excellent recognition rates in terms of performance. Nonetheless, it seems that the most performing face recognition system, especially when familiar faces are involved, is still the human being, able to detect known faces in the wild, in presence of occlusions or extreme light contrast, caricatures, sketches, partial views, blurred images. This is one of the manifold reasons why the human visual system at eye and brain level and face perception techniques are currently being studied by neuroscientists and psychologists, with the aim to uncover the processes underneath the human vision. The purpose of this work is to review the current literature about perception foundations and related biologically-inspired methodologies for face recognition.
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İşletmelerin pazarlama karar ve stratejilerinin belirlenmesinde cinsiyet kavramı, etkili bir pazar bölümleme değişkenidir. Ürünlerin ve hizmetlerin hedef kitlenin isteklerine ve ihtiyaçlarına hitap edebilmesi, hedef kitlenin dikkatini çekebilmesi etkin bir pazarlama iletişimi ile mümkün olabilmektedir. Satın alma davranışını önemli ölçüde şekillendiren reklamlar, pazarlama iletişimi açısından hedef kitleye ulaşmada anahtar rol üstlenmektedir. Hedef kitlenin, reklamı yapılan ürüne veya hizmete dikkatinin çekilmesi, ürünün veya hizmetin akılda kalıcılığının sağlanması, rakiplerinden ayırt edilebilir olması için geliştirilen unsurları ifade eden reklamda çekicilik ve strateji, bu çalışma ile irdelenen başlıklar arasındadır. Bu kapsamda dezenfektan reklamlarında kullanılan görsellerin reklamda çekicilik ve strateji oluştururken cinsiyet kaynaklı; algılama farklılıkları, dikkat süre ve sayılarındaki farklılıklar, nöropazarlama araştırma tekniklerinden EyeTracking yöntemi ile ortaya konulmaya çalışılmıştır. Bu çalışma; Fırat Üniversitesi Pazarlama ve Nöropazarlama Araştırma Merkezi kapsamında 15 kadın ve 15 erkek olmak üzere toplam 30 gönüllü katılımcı ile gerçekleştirilmiştir. Araştırmada, hedef kitlenin Eye Tracking analiz yöntemi ile dezenfektan reklamlarında kullanılan görsellerin farkındalık düzeyleri araştırılmış ve görsel etki düzeyleri belirlenmiştir. Bu sebeple, dezenfektan reklamları aracılığı ile kadın ve erkeğin marka seçimindeki farklı kararlarının altında yatan gerçek sebepler anlaşılmaya çalışılmıştır. Böylece, dezenfektan reklamları üzerindeki görsel etki düzeylerinin cinsiyete göre farklılaşma düzeyleri tespit edilmiştir.
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It is a well-known and widely lamented fact that men outnumber women in a number of fields in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths). The most commonly discussed explanations for the gender gaps are discrimination and socialization, and the most common policy prescriptions target those ostensible causes. However, a great deal of evidence in the behavioural sciences suggests that discrimination and socialization are only part of the story. The purpose of this paper is to highlight other aspects of the story: aspects that are commonly overlooked or downplayed. More precisely, the paper has two main aims. The first is to examine the evidence that factors other than workplace discrimination contribute to the gender gaps in STEM. These include relatively large average sex differences in career and lifestyle preferences, and relatively small average differences in cognitive aptitudes – some favouring males, others favouring females – which are associated with progressively larger differences the further above the average one looks. The second aim is to examine the evidence suggesting that these sex differences are not purely a product of social factors but also have a substantial biological (i.e. inherited) component. A more complete picture of the causes of the unequal sex ratios in STEM may productively inform policy discussions.
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Turner's syndrome is a sporadic disorder of human females in which all or part of one X chromosome is deleted. Intelligence is usually normal but social adjustment problems are common. Here we report a study of 80 females with Turner's syndrome and a single X chromosome, in 55 of which the X was maternally derived (45,X[m]) and in 25 it was of paternal origin (45,X[p]). Members of the 45,X[p] group were significantly better adjusted, with superior verbal and higher-order executive function skills, which mediate social interactions. Our observations suggest that there is a genetic locus for social cognition, which is imprinted and is not expressed from the maternally derived X chromosome. Neuropsychological and molecular investigations of eight females with partial deletions of the short arm of the X chromosome indicate that the putative imprinted locus escapes X-inactivation, and probably lies on Xq or close to the centromere on Xp. If expressed only from the X chromosome of paternal origin, the existence of this locus could explain why 46,XY males (whose single X chromosome is maternal) are more vulnerable to developmental disorders of language and social cognition, such as autism, than are 46,XX females.
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A number of studies have reported that most children with autism fail theory of mind tasks. It is unclear why certain children with autism pass such tests and what might be different about these subjects. In the present study, the role of age and verbal ability in theory of mind task performance was explored. Data were pooled from 70 autistic, 34 mentally handicapped, and 70 normal young subjects, previously tested for a number of different studies. The analysis suggested that children with autism required far higher verbal mental age to pass false belief tasks than did other subjects. While normally developing children had a 50% probability of passing both tasks at the verbal mental age of 4 years, autistic subjects took more than twice as long to reach this probability of success (at the advanced verbal mental age of 9-2). Possible causal relations between verbal ability and the ability to represent mental states are discussed.
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A procedure previously used to investigate imperative communication in non-human primates was applied to young children, some of whom had autism. The goal was to examine closely how requests are made in a problem-solving situation. Each child's spontaneous strategies to obtain an out-of-reach object were analyzed in terms of the ways in which he or she used the adult who was present. Results showed that fewer children with autism used a strategy of treating the person as a "subject", and that more children with autism used object-centred strategies.
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Previous studies have found a subgroup of people with autism or Asperger Syndrome who pass second-order tests of theory of mind. However, such tests have a ceiling in developmental terms corresponding to a mental age of about 6 years. It is therefore impossible to say if such individuals are intact or impaired in their theory of mind skills. We report the performance of very high functioning adults with autism or Asperger Syndrome on an adult test of theory of mind ability. The task involved inferring the mental state of a person just from the information in photographs of a person's eyes. Relative to age-matched normal controls and a clinical control group (adults with Tourette Syndrome), the group with autism and Asperger Syndrome were significantly impaired on this task. The autism and Asperger Syndrome sample was also impaired on Happé's strange stories tasks. In contrast, they were unimpaired on two control tasks: recognising gender from the eye region of the face, and recognising basic emotions from the whole face. This provides evidence for subtle mindreading deficits in very high functioning individuals on the autistic continuum.
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Spontaneous shifts of attention were observed in autistic, typically developing, and nonautistic developmentally delayed infants. Three types of attention shifting behaviour were observed; (1) between an object and another object, (2) between an object and a person, and (3) between a person and another person. The two control groups shifted attention more frequently between an object and a person than between an object and another object or between a person and another person. The infants with autism showed a different pattern, shifting attention between an object and another object more than any other type of shift. Furthermore, infants with autism showed fewer shifts of attention between an object and a person, and between person and person, than did the two control groups. They also spent less time overall looking at people and looked more briefly at people and for longer durations at objects, compared to the two control groups. These results indicate an abnormality in social orientation in autism even at the early age of 20 months.
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Human infants under 5 days of age consistently looked more at black-and-white patterns than at plain colored surfaces, which indicates the innate ability to perceive form.
Gender and fair assessment. Hillsdale, New Jersey: Erlbaum
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