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Infants show pupil dilatory responses to happy and angry facial expressions

Prunty, Jonathan E., Keemink, Jolie R., Kelly, David J. (2021) Infants show pupil dilatory responses to happy and angry facial expressions. Developmental Science, . ISSN 1363-755X. (doi:10.1111/desc.13182) (KAR id:90832)

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Facial expressions are one way in which infants and adults communicate emotion. Infants scan expressions similarly to adults, yet it remains unclear whether they are receptive to the affective information they convey. The current study investigates six-, nine- and twelve-month infants’ (N = 146) pupillary responses to the six ‘basic’ emotional expressions (happy, sad, surprise, fear, anger, and disgust). To do this we use dynamic stimuli and gaze-contingent eye-tracking to simulate brief interactive exchanges, alongside a static control condition. Infants’ arousal responses were stronger for dynamic compared to static stimuli. And for dynamic stimuli we found that, compared to neutral, infants showed dilatory responses for happy and angry expressions only. Although previous work has shown infants can discriminate perceptually between facial expressions, our data suggest that sensitivity to the affective content of all six basic emotional expressions may not fully emerge until later in ontogeny.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1111/desc.13182
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: David Kelly
Date Deposited: 13 Oct 2021 12:51 UTC
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2022 23:11 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Kelly, David J.:
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