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Volume 5 Issue 4 (November 2002), Pages iii-iii, F9-F16, 397-516

Newborns’ preference for up–down asymmetrical configurations (pages 427-434)

The present study was aimed at investigating whether, because of a differential sensitivity between the upper and the lower visual fields, in a visual preference task newborns would orient more frequently and look longer at patterns with a great number of high–contrast areas in the upper or lower visual field. Newborns were presented with three pairs of geometrical stimuli, each composed of a pattern with a greater number of elements in the upper part or a pattern with more elements in the lower part. The results showed a reliable preference for the stimuli that had more elements in the upper than in the lower part. The evidence obtained suggests the possibility that, at birth, the visibility of a stimulus depends not only on its sensory properties, but also on its structural characteristics.

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