Six-month-old infants perceive the hollow-face illusion

Sherryse Corrow, Carl E. Granrud, Jordan Mathison, Albert Yonas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


In this study we investigated infants' perception of the hollow-face illusion. 6-month-old infants were shown a concave mask under monocular and binocular viewing conditions and the direction of their reaches toward the mask was recorded. Adults typically perceive a concave mask as convex under monocular conditions but as concave under binocular conditions, depending on viewing distance. Based on previous findings that infants reach preferentially toward the parts of a display that are closest to them, we expected that, if infants perceive the hollow-face illusion as adults do, they would reach to the center of the mask when viewing it monocularly and to the edges when viewing it binocularly. The results were consistent with these predictions. Our findings indicated that the infants perceived the mask as convex when viewing it with one eye and concave when viewing it with two eyes. The results show that 6-month-old infants respond to the hollow-face illusion. Our finding suggests that, early in life, the visual system uses the constraint, or assumption, that faces are convex when interpreting visual input.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1376-1383
Number of pages8
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2011


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