Infants' vagal regulation in the still-face paradigm is related to dyadic coordination of mother-infant interaction.Dev Psychol. 2004 Nov; 40(6):1068-80.DP
The authors investigated relations between mother-infant dyadic coordination and infants' physiological responses. Mothers (N=73) and 3-month-old male and female infants were observed in the still-face paradigm, and mothers' and infants' affective states were coded at 1-s intervals. Synchrony and levels of matching between mother-infant affective states were computed, and infants' heart rate and vagal tone were measured. Infants showed increased negative affect and heart rate and decreased vagal tone during mothers' still-face, indicating physiological regulation of distress. Infants who did not suppress vagal tone during the still-face (nonsuppressors) showed less positive affect, higher reactivity and vagal suppression in normal play and reunion episodes, and lower synchrony in normal play with mothers. The results indicate that infants' physiological regulation in social interaction differs in relation to dyadic coordination of affective behaviors.