Although a clear preference for female faces (Quinn,

Although there is ample research that indicates the
importance of FFA in facial recognition, there is more research that implies
that the FFA is not limited to facial recognition, meaning facial recognition
cannot solely rely on the FFA to aid facial perception. Exploration into
infants can provide opposing theory’s, in infants the FFA is underdeveloped, and
does not completely develop until adolescence, however it is known that
children and babies show the ability to differentiate and recognise faces.

Bushnell (2001) found that infants show a preference and obvious recognition
for their mother’s face, and that very little exposure is required. Babies as
early as 3 months’ old have shown the ability to distinguish between faces
(Goldstein, 2013). Not only are they capable of distinguishing faces but show a
clear preference for female faces (Quinn, et al 2002), providing an
evolutionary aspect into the importance of facial perception, and shows babies
focus on women for food. Although babies are capable of recognising and
differentiating faces, a recent fMRI has found that there is no FFA in the
brain of infants between 4 and 6 months old (Deen et al, 2017). Consequently, it
appears that the FFA as a single component into facial perception has its
flaws, there must be another neural structure that sub serves facial recognition.

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However, is it important to note that the human brain has been studies far more
extensively than the infant brain, and it may not be that there is an absence
of FFA but it may be that it is not located in anatomically
familiar area. Due to the fact
infants are undergoing periods of neurogenesis (Johnson, 2001) this may make it
more difficult to distinguish the signal from a FFA. Furthermore, research
suggests that it may be pointless to accept the presence of a prewired tendency
to orient toward the face geometry due to the fact there is a domain-general
bias toward conformations with more components in the upper than in the lower
half-top-heavy patterns. Suggesting faces do not hold a superior status in
new-borns visual world (Viola Macchi, Turati and Simion, 2004).

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