To MedicalExpress.com from the University of Massachusetts Amherst

Research by psychology researcher Lisa Scott and colleagues at the University of Massachusetts Amherst suggests that throughout the first year of life, babies are developing highly specialized perceptual abilities in response to important people in their environment, such as family members. This focus of attention to familiar groups of people compared to unfamiliar groups is hypothesized to be the root of later difficulties some adults have in identifying and recognizing faces of other races.

UMass researcher fits baby subject with sensors

UMass researcher fits baby subject with sensors

Scott says, “In addition to providing information critical for understanding how infants learn about the surrounding environment, the results of this research may serve as a guide for early education and interventions designed to reduce later racial prejudice and stereotyping” Scott states. “These results suggest that biases in face recognition and perception begin in preverbal infants, well before concepts about race are formed. It is important for us to understand the nature of these biases in order to reduce or eliminate them.”

Read about the study here.