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The role of facial expressions in attention-orienting in adults and infants

Rigato, S and Menon, E and Gangi, VD and George, N and Farroni, T (2013) 'The role of facial expressions in attention-orienting in adults and infants.' International Journal of Behavioral Development, 37 (2). 154 - 159. ISSN 0165-0254

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Faces convey many signals (i.e., gaze or expressions) essential for interpersonal interaction. We have previously shown that facial expressions of emotion and gaze direction are processed and integrated in specific combinations early in life. These findings open a number of developmental questions and specifically in this paper we address whether such emotional signals may modulate the behavior in a following gaze context. A classic spatial cueing paradigm was used to assess whether different facial expressions may cause differential orienting response times and modulate the visual response to a peripheral target in adults and in 4-month-old infants. Results showed that both adults and infants oriented towards a peripheral target when a central face was gazing in the direction of the target location. However, in adults this effect occurred regardless of the facial expression displayed by the face. In contrast, in infants, the emotional facial expressions used, at least in the current study, did not facilitate the attention shift but tended to hold infants' attention. © 2013 The Author(s).

Item Type: Article
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
Depositing User: Clare Chatfield
Date Deposited: 10 Dec 2013 16:17
Last Modified: 30 Jan 2019 16:17

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