Social gaze in preterm infants may act as an early indicator of atypical lateralisation
Boardman, James P.
Forrester, Gillian S.
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Davis, R., Donati, G., Finnegan, K., Boardman, J.P., Dean, B., Fletcher-Watson, S. and Forrester, G.S. (2022) 'Social gaze in preterm infants may act as an early indicator of atypical lateralisation', to be published in Child Development.
Visual field biases have been identified as markers of atypical lateralisation in children with developmental conditions, but this is the first investigation to consider early lateralised gaze behaviours for social stimuli in preterm infants. Eyetracking methods with 51 preterm (33 male, 92.1% White) and 61 term-born (31 male, 90.1% White) infants aged 8-10 months from Edinburgh, UK, captured the development of visual field biases, comparing gaze behaviour to social and non-social stimuli on the left versus right of the screen. Preterm infants showed a significantly reduced interest to social stimuli on the left versus right compared to term children (d =.58). Preterm children exhibit early differential orienting preferences that may be an early indicator of atypical lateralised function.