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Fearful faces modulate looking duration and attention disengagement in 7-month-old infants.
Dev Sci. 2008 Jan; 11(1):60-8.DS

Abstract

The present study investigated whether facial expressions modulate visual attention in 7-month-old infants. First, infants' looking duration to individually presented fearful, happy, and novel facial expressions was compared to looking duration to a control stimulus (scrambled face). The face with a novel expression was included to examine the hypothesis that the earlier findings of greater allocation of attention to fearful as compared to happy faces could be due to the novelty of fearful faces in infants' rearing environment. The infants looked longer at the fearful face than at the control stimulus, whereas no such difference was found between the other expressions and the control stimulus. Second, a gap/overlap paradigm was used to determine whether facial expressions affect the infants' ability to disengage their fixation from a centrally presented face and shift attention to a peripheral target. It was found that infants disengaged their fixation significantly less frequently from fearful faces than from control stimuli and happy faces. Novel facial expressions did not have a similar effect on attention disengagement. Thus, it seems that adult-like modulation of the disengagement of attention by threat-related stimuli can be observed early in life, and that the influence of emotionally salient (fearful) faces on visual attention is not simply attributable to the novelty of these expressions in infants' rearing environment.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Psychology, University of Tampere, Finland. mikko.peltola@uta.fiNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

18171368

Citation

Peltola, Mikko J., et al. "Fearful Faces Modulate Looking Duration and Attention Disengagement in 7-month-old Infants." Developmental Science, vol. 11, no. 1, 2008, pp. 60-8.
Peltola MJ, Leppänen JM, Palokangas T, et al. Fearful faces modulate looking duration and attention disengagement in 7-month-old infants. Dev Sci. 2008;11(1):60-8.
Peltola, M. J., Leppänen, J. M., Palokangas, T., & Hietanen, J. K. (2008). Fearful faces modulate looking duration and attention disengagement in 7-month-old infants. Developmental Science, 11(1), 60-8. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-7687.2007.00659.x
Peltola MJ, et al. Fearful Faces Modulate Looking Duration and Attention Disengagement in 7-month-old Infants. Dev Sci. 2008;11(1):60-8. PubMed PMID: 18171368.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Fearful faces modulate looking duration and attention disengagement in 7-month-old infants. AU - Peltola,Mikko J, AU - Leppänen,Jukka M, AU - Palokangas,Tiina, AU - Hietanen,Jari K, PY - 2008/1/4/pubmed PY - 2008/3/11/medline PY - 2008/1/4/entrez SP - 60 EP - 8 JF - Developmental science JO - Dev Sci VL - 11 IS - 1 N2 - The present study investigated whether facial expressions modulate visual attention in 7-month-old infants. First, infants' looking duration to individually presented fearful, happy, and novel facial expressions was compared to looking duration to a control stimulus (scrambled face). The face with a novel expression was included to examine the hypothesis that the earlier findings of greater allocation of attention to fearful as compared to happy faces could be due to the novelty of fearful faces in infants' rearing environment. The infants looked longer at the fearful face than at the control stimulus, whereas no such difference was found between the other expressions and the control stimulus. Second, a gap/overlap paradigm was used to determine whether facial expressions affect the infants' ability to disengage their fixation from a centrally presented face and shift attention to a peripheral target. It was found that infants disengaged their fixation significantly less frequently from fearful faces than from control stimuli and happy faces. Novel facial expressions did not have a similar effect on attention disengagement. Thus, it seems that adult-like modulation of the disengagement of attention by threat-related stimuli can be observed early in life, and that the influence of emotionally salient (fearful) faces on visual attention is not simply attributable to the novelty of these expressions in infants' rearing environment. SN - 1467-7687 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/18171368/Fearful_faces_modulate_looking_duration_and_attention_disengagement_in_7_month_old_infants_ L2 - https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-7687.2007.00659.x DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -