Pre-verbal infants perceive emotional facial expressions categorically

Published on Apr 3, 2019in Cognition & Emotion2.37
· DOI :10.1080/02699931.2018.1455640
Yong Qi Cong1
Estimated H-index: 1
(UvA: University of Amsterdam),
Caroline Junge6
Estimated H-index: 6
(UU: Utrecht University)
+ 3 AuthorsDisa Sauter22
Estimated H-index: 22
(UvA: University of Amsterdam)
ABSTRACTAdults perceive emotional expressions categorically, with discrimination being faster and more accurate between expressions from different emotion categories (i.e. blends with two different predominant emotions) than between two stimuli from the same category (i.e. blends with the same predominant emotion). The current study sought to test whether facial expressions of happiness and fear are perceived categorically by pre-verbal infants, using a new stimulus set that was shown to yield categorical perception in adult observers (Experiments 1 and 2). These stimuli were then used with 7-month-old infants (N  =  34) using a habituation and visual preference paradigm (Experiment 3). Infants were first habituated to an expression of one emotion, then presented with the same expression paired with a novel expression either from the same emotion category or from a different emotion category. After habituation to fear, infants displayed a novelty preference for pairs of between-category expressions, but n...
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