The ability of infants to discriminate and recognize faces gained recent attention; however, much of the research focused on discrimination of the mother's face from a female stranger's face. This study examined father versus stranger face discrimination using an operant sucking procedure, in which images of fathers and strangers were presented on a computer monitor contingent upon the sucking responses of the infant. Discrimination was determined by computing the difference in the number of responses for each face. Results indicated that 3 infants under the age of 4 months discriminated the father's image from the image of a stranger, consistent with the schema theory of face perception. Future research should include larger sample sizes, and further study the mechanism of infant face discrimination.
White '04, Erin L., "Father versus Stranger Face Discrimination by the Human Infant: A Case Study" (2004). Honors Projects. Paper 19.