Abstract

Background: Debates about the developmental origins of adult face processing could be directly addressed if a clear infant neural marker could be identified. Previous research with infants remains open to criticism regarding the control stimuli employed. Methods: We recorded ERPs from adults and 3-month-old infants while they watched faces and matched visual noise stimuli. Results: We observed similar amplitude enhancement for faces in the infant N290 and adult N170. In contrast, the infant P400 showed only a latency effect, making it unlikely to be the main precursor of the adult N170. Conclusions: We conclude that there is some degree of specificity of cortical processing of faces as early as 3 months of age.