Face preference at birth.
Four experiments are reported that were aimed at elucidating some of the controversial issues concerning the preference for facelike patterns in newborns. The experiments were devised to contrast the original and the revised versions of the sensory hypothesis and the structural hypothesis as accounts of face preference in newborns. Experiments 1A and 1B supported the structural hypothesis by showing a visual preference for the stimulus for which components were located in the correct arrangement for a human face. Experiment 2 supported the sensory hypothesis by showing a visual preference for stimuli that were designed to have the optimal spatial frequency components for the newborn visual system. Experiment 3 showed that babies directed attention to a facelike pattern also when it was presented simultaneously with a nonfacelike stimulus with optimal spatial frequency for the newborn visual system.