Temporal-nasal asymmetry of rapid orienting to face-like stimuli

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Recent work suggests that a subcortical visual route may mediate rapid orienting towards faces in the visual periphery. We now demonstrate that this orienting bias towards faces shows a temporal-nasal visual field asymmetry of responses, supporting the view that it is mediated by extrageniculate pathways. Upright schematic face-like pattern elicited faster behavioural responses than inverted one in the temporal but not in the nasal hemifield of each eye. This effect occurred for saccades but not for manual responses. The presence of a similar asymmetry of the orienting bias in newborns supports the role of extrageniculate pathways in face detection in both neonates and adults.

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