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Facing threat: infants' and adults' visual scanning of faces with neutral, happy, sad, angry, and fearful emotional expressions.
Cogn Emot. 2011 Feb; 25(2):193-205.CE

Abstract

Human faces are among the most important visual stimuli that we encounter at all ages. This importance partly stems from the face as a conveyer of information on the emotional state of other individuals. Previous research has demonstrated specific scanning patterns in response to threat-related compared to non-threat-related emotional expressions. This study investigated how visual scanning patterns toward faces which display different emotional expressions develop during infancy. The visual scanning patterns of 4-month-old and 7-month-old infants and adults when looking at threat-related (i.e., angry and fearful) versus non-threat-related (i.e., happy, sad, and neutral) emotional faces were examined. We found that infants as well as adults displayed an avoidant looking pattern in response to threat-related emotional expressions with reduced dwell times and relatively less fixations to the inner features of the face. In addition, adults showed a pattern of eye contact avoidance when looking at threat-related emotional expressions that was not yet present in infants. Thus, whereas a general avoidant reaction to threat-related facial expressions appears to be present from very early in life, the avoidance of eye contact might be a learned response toward others' anger and fear that emerges later during development.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Center for Cognition, Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Radboud University Nijmegen, PO Box 9104, NL-6500 HE Nijmegen, The Netherlands. s.hunnius@donders.ru.nlNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

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

Language

eng

PubMed ID

21432667

Citation

Hunnius, Sabine, et al. "Facing Threat: Infants' and Adults' Visual Scanning of Faces With Neutral, Happy, Sad, Angry, and Fearful Emotional Expressions." Cognition & Emotion, vol. 25, no. 2, 2011, pp. 193-205.
Hunnius S, de Wit TC, Vrins S, et al. Facing threat: infants' and adults' visual scanning of faces with neutral, happy, sad, angry, and fearful emotional expressions. Cogn Emot. 2011;25(2):193-205.
Hunnius, S., de Wit, T. C., Vrins, S., & von Hofsten, C. (2011). Facing threat: infants' and adults' visual scanning of faces with neutral, happy, sad, angry, and fearful emotional expressions. Cognition & Emotion, 25(2), 193-205. https://doi.org/10.1080/15298861003771189
Hunnius S, et al. Facing Threat: Infants' and Adults' Visual Scanning of Faces With Neutral, Happy, Sad, Angry, and Fearful Emotional Expressions. Cogn Emot. 2011;25(2):193-205. PubMed PMID: 21432667.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Facing threat: infants' and adults' visual scanning of faces with neutral, happy, sad, angry, and fearful emotional expressions. AU - Hunnius,Sabine, AU - de Wit,Tessa C J, AU - Vrins,Sven, AU - von Hofsten,Claes, PY - 2011/3/25/entrez PY - 2011/3/25/pubmed PY - 2011/7/19/medline SP - 193 EP - 205 JF - Cognition & emotion JO - Cogn Emot VL - 25 IS - 2 N2 - Human faces are among the most important visual stimuli that we encounter at all ages. This importance partly stems from the face as a conveyer of information on the emotional state of other individuals. Previous research has demonstrated specific scanning patterns in response to threat-related compared to non-threat-related emotional expressions. This study investigated how visual scanning patterns toward faces which display different emotional expressions develop during infancy. The visual scanning patterns of 4-month-old and 7-month-old infants and adults when looking at threat-related (i.e., angry and fearful) versus non-threat-related (i.e., happy, sad, and neutral) emotional faces were examined. We found that infants as well as adults displayed an avoidant looking pattern in response to threat-related emotional expressions with reduced dwell times and relatively less fixations to the inner features of the face. In addition, adults showed a pattern of eye contact avoidance when looking at threat-related emotional expressions that was not yet present in infants. Thus, whereas a general avoidant reaction to threat-related facial expressions appears to be present from very early in life, the avoidance of eye contact might be a learned response toward others' anger and fear that emerges later during development. SN - 1464-0600 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/21432667/Facing_threat:_infants'_and_adults'_visual_scanning_of_faces_with_neutral_happy_sad_angry_and_fearful_emotional_expressions_ L2 - https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/15298861003771189 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -