Within the visual cortex of the adult brain, a small region is specialized to respond to faces, while nearby regions show strong preferences for bodies or for scenes such as landscapes. Neuroscientists have long hypothesized that it takes many years of visual experience for these areas to develop in children. However, a new MIT study suggests that these regions form much earlier than previously thought. In a study of babies ranging in age from two to nine months, the researchers identified areas of the infant visual cortex that already show strong preferences for either faces, bodies, or scenes, just as they do in adults.
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