Tampere University

Tampere University was born on 1.1.2019, when the University of Tampere and Tampere University of Technology joined together. The new university’s expertise encompasses technology, health, and society.

Tampere University is known for its research on cognitive and social neuroscience. Research areas in the Human Information Processing Laboratory include cognitive and social neuroscience, particularly related to the processing of emotional and facial information.

The Infant Cognition Laboratory examines cognitive, emotional, and social development in the infant, in particular, the development of basic vision skills and facial detection abilities. The goal is to identify how the brain’s electrical activity (EEG) and eye movements of the child can be utilized in monitoring early development.

Eye contact prepares the brain for social interactions, thus triggering brain activity associated with human approach and positive emotional reactions.

The baby’s attentiveness to the human face is linked to how empathic characteristics develop later during childhood.

Additional information

Human Information Processing Laboratory, HIP LAB
https://research.uta.fi/hiplab/

Infant Cognition Laboratory
https://research.uta.fi/icl/

Success stories

The importance of eye contact

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The importance of eye contact

Studies in the Human Information Processing Laboratory have found, among other things, that eye contact prepares the brain for social interactions, thus triggering brain activity associated with human approach and positive emotional reactions, and that such reactions are unusual in, for example, individuals with autism and social anxiety.

While studying these phenomena, the subjects have interacted with another person present. The results have shown that many associated phenomena would not be revealed at all if only faces are presented to the subjects. This information has been of great importance for the development of research methods in this field.

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Baby attentiveness and social behavior

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Baby attentiveness and social behavior

The Infant Cognition Laboratory has shown that baby’s attentiveness to human faces is linked to how empathic characteristics develop later during childhood. Babies who showed more attention to the face at the age of seven months were more likely to show spontaneous prosocial behavior at the age of two.

With the exception of Tampere University, there has been very little comprehensive long-term research on the relationship between the baby’s ability to detect a face and the development of a child’s social behavior.

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Contact us

Jari Hietanen

  • Psykologian professori
  • jari.hietanen@uta.fi
  • +358 40 190 1384

Jukka Leppänen

  • Tutkimusjohtaja, lääketieteen ja biotieteiden tiedekunta
  • jukka.leppanen@uta.fi
  • +358 40 190 1361