Abstract

Most people are experts in face recognition. We propose that the special status of this particular body part in telling individuals apart is the result of a developmental process that heavily biases human infants and children to attend towards the eyes of others. We review the evidence supporting this proposal, including neuroimaging results and studies in developmental disorders, like autism. We propose that the most likely explanation of infants’ bias towards eyes is the fact that eye gaze serves important communicative functions in humans.