Newborn habituation to visual stimuli: A sex difference in novelty detection

Steven Friedman, Lois A. Bruno, Peter Vietze

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Thirty-six newborn human infants were repeatedly exposed to one of two visual stimuli, a four-square or 144-square black and white checkerboard target, until a set criterion of habituation was demonstrated, as measured by a decrement in visual fixation time. When the habituation criterion was reached, independent groups of Ss were either presented with the same target or with a target of either moderate or large discrepancy from the standard habituation stimulus. Results indicated that (1) there was habituation of visual attention, which replicated previous findings, and suggests that some infants soon after birth are capable of storing simple visual information, and (2) following habituation female infants displayed greater recovery of attention than male infants when the moderate stimulus change was introduced.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)242-251
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Experimental Child Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 1974


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