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Mothers' pupillary responses to infant facial expressions.
Behav Brain Funct. 2017 Feb 06; 13(1):2.BB

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Human parental care relies heavily on the ability to monitor and respond to a child's affective states. The current study examined pupil diameter as a potential physiological index of mothers' affective response to infant facial expressions.

METHODS

Pupillary time-series were measured from 86 mothers of young infants in response to an array of photographic infant faces falling into four emotive categories based on valence (positive vs. negative) and arousal (mild vs. strong).

RESULTS

Pupil dilation was highly sensitive to the valence of facial expressions, being larger for negative vs. positive facial expressions. A separate control experiment with luminance-matched non-face stimuli indicated that the valence effect was specific to facial expressions and cannot be explained by luminance confounds. Pupil response was not sensitive to the arousal level of facial expressions.

CONCLUSIONS

The results show the feasibility of using pupil diameter as a marker of mothers' affective responses to ecologically valid infant stimuli and point to a particularly prompt maternal response to infant distress cues.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Tampere Center for Child Health Research, School of Medicine, University of Tampere, Lääkärinkatu 1, 33520, Tampere, Finland. santeri.yrttiaho@uta.fi.Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa.Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa.Tampere Center for Child Health Research, School of Medicine, University of Tampere, Lääkärinkatu 1, 33520, Tampere, Finland.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

28166792

Citation

Yrttiaho, Santeri, et al. "Mothers' Pupillary Responses to Infant Facial Expressions." Behavioral and Brain Functions : BBF, vol. 13, no. 1, 2017, p. 2.
Yrttiaho S, Niehaus D, Thomas E, et al. Mothers' pupillary responses to infant facial expressions. Behav Brain Funct. 2017;13(1):2.
Yrttiaho, S., Niehaus, D., Thomas, E., & Leppänen, J. M. (2017). Mothers' pupillary responses to infant facial expressions. Behavioral and Brain Functions : BBF, 13(1), 2. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12993-017-0120-9
Yrttiaho S, et al. Mothers' Pupillary Responses to Infant Facial Expressions. Behav Brain Funct. 2017 Feb 6;13(1):2. PubMed PMID: 28166792.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Mothers' pupillary responses to infant facial expressions. AU - Yrttiaho,Santeri, AU - Niehaus,Dana, AU - Thomas,Eileen, AU - Leppänen,Jukka M, Y1 - 2017/02/06/ PY - 2016/06/23/received PY - 2017/01/24/accepted PY - 2017/2/8/entrez PY - 2017/2/9/pubmed PY - 2017/2/10/medline KW - Attention KW - Emotion KW - Facial expressions KW - Infant faces KW - Mothers KW - Pupil SP - 2 EP - 2 JF - Behavioral and brain functions : BBF JO - Behav Brain Funct VL - 13 IS - 1 N2 - BACKGROUND: Human parental care relies heavily on the ability to monitor and respond to a child's affective states. The current study examined pupil diameter as a potential physiological index of mothers' affective response to infant facial expressions. METHODS: Pupillary time-series were measured from 86 mothers of young infants in response to an array of photographic infant faces falling into four emotive categories based on valence (positive vs. negative) and arousal (mild vs. strong). RESULTS: Pupil dilation was highly sensitive to the valence of facial expressions, being larger for negative vs. positive facial expressions. A separate control experiment with luminance-matched non-face stimuli indicated that the valence effect was specific to facial expressions and cannot be explained by luminance confounds. Pupil response was not sensitive to the arousal level of facial expressions. CONCLUSIONS: The results show the feasibility of using pupil diameter as a marker of mothers' affective responses to ecologically valid infant stimuli and point to a particularly prompt maternal response to infant distress cues. SN - 1744-9081 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/28166792/Mothers'_pupillary_responses_to_infant_facial_expressions_ L2 - https://behavioralandbrainfunctions.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12993-017-0120-9 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -