Can newborns recognise their mother’s profile view?

Tokyo: Although adults and children can easily recognise faces from both the frontal and profile views, a new study has revealed that babies younger than six months of age do not recognise their mothers watching their mobile phones.

The study, published in the journal, ‘NeuroImage’, showed that babies can recognise faces from profile views after six months of age.

The team also observed that the brain activity of babies enables them to recognise a face regardless of view change.

“Mothers caring for their babies are no exception. However, younger babies do not recognise the face in profile. When we communicate with younger babies, we should look straight at the babies’ faces,” said Ryusuke Kakigi, Professor from the National Institute for Physiological Sciences in Japan.

For the study, the researchers tested a small group of babies every month during the first three to eight months of their lives.

They first identified developmental changes in babies with regard to the ability to recognise a face from frontal and profile views.

The team measured the babies’s brain activity while the baby viewed frontal and profile views of the face using non-invasive near-infrared spectroscopy.

The results suggested that babies gradually recognise the profile faces at around 5.5 months of age, the team said.