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The Social World Through Infants’ Eyes : How Infants Look at Different Social Figures
2012 (English)Doktorsavhandling, sammanläggning (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis aims to study how infants actively look at different social figures: parents and strangers. To study infants’ looking behavior in “live” situations, new methods to record looking behavior were tested.

Study 1 developed a method to record looking behavior in “live” situations: a head-mounted camera. This method was calibrated for a number of angles and then used to measure how infants look at faces and objects in two “live” situations, a conversation and a joint action. High reliability was found for the head-mounted camera in horizontal positions and the possibility of using it in a number of “live” situations with infants from 6 to 14 months of age.

In Study 2, the head-mounted camera and a static camera and were used in a “live” ambiguous situation to study infants’ preferences to refer to and to use the information from parents and strangers. The results from Experiment 1 of Study 2 showed that if no information is provided in ambiguous situations in the lab, infants at 10 months of age look more at the experimenter than at the parent. Further, Experiment 2 of Study 2 showed that the infants also used more of the emotional information provided by the experimenter than by the parent to regulate their behavior.

 In Study 3, looking behavior was analyzed in detail when infants looked at pictures of their parents’ and strangers’ emotional facial expressions. Corneal eye tracking was used to record looking. In this study, the influence of identity, gender, emotional expressions and parental leave on looking behavior was analyzed. The results indicated that identity and experience of looking at others influences how infants discriminate emotions in pictures of facial expressions. Fourteen-month-old infants who had been with both parents in parental leave discriminated more emotional expressions in strangers than infants who only had one parent on leave. Further, they reacted with larger pupil dilation toward the parent who was actually in parental leave than to the parent not on leave. Finally, fearful emotional expressions were more broadly scanned than neutral or happy facial expressions.

The results of these studies indicate that infants discriminate between mothers’, fathers’ and strangers’ emotional facial expressions and use the other people’s expressions to regulate their behavior. In addition, a new method, a head-mounted camera was shown to capture infants’ looking behavior in “live” situations.

Place, publisher, year, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2012. 66 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Social Sciences, ISSN 1652-9030 ; 75
Keyword [en]
infant social looking, emotional facial expressions, experience, identity, behavior regulation, head-mounted cameras, eye-tracking
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-168304 (URN)978-91-554-8269-5 (ISBN)oai:DiVA.org:uu-168304 (OAI)
Public defence
2012-03-29, Sal IV, Universitetshuset, Biskopsgatan 3, Uppsala, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from2012-03-07 Created:2012-02-08 Last updated:2012-03-29Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Using a head-mounted camera to infer attention direction
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Using a head-mounted camera to infer attention direction
2013 (English)In: International Journal of Behavioral Development, ISSN 0165-0254, E-ISSN 1464-0651, Vol. 37, no 5, 468-474Artikel i tidskrift (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A head-mounted camera was used to measure head direction. The camera was mounted to the forehead of 20 6- and 20 12-month-old infants while they watched an object held at 11 horizontal (−80° to + 80°) and 9 vertical (−48° to + 50°) positions. The results showed that the head always moved less than required to be on target. Below 30° in the horizontal dimension, the head undershoot of object direction was less than 5°. At 80°, however, the undershoot was substantial or between 10° and 15°. In the vertical dimension, the undershoot was larger than in the horizontal dimension. At 30°, the undershoot was around 25% in the downward direction and around 40% in the upward direction. The size of the undershoot was quite consistent between conditions. It was concluded that the head-mounted camera is a useful indicator of horizontal looking direction in a free looking situation where the head is only turned moderately from a straight ahead position.

Keyword
head-mounted cameras, infant looking behavior, calibration, "live" situations
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-168365 (URN)10.1177/0165025413495749 (DOI)000323895500010 (ISI)
Available from2012-02-09 Created:2012-02-09 Last updated:2013-09-23Bibliographically approved
2. Social Referencing in 10-month-old infants
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Social Referencing in 10-month-old infants
2013 (English)In: European Journal of Developmental Psychology, ISSN 1740-5629, E-ISSN 1740-5610, Vol. 10, no 5, 533-545Artikel i tidskrift (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In Experiment 1, forty 10-month-old infants participated together with an experimenter and their parent in a social referencing encounter. The experimenter or the parent presented an ambiguous toy. Neither of the adults provided information about the toy in order to examine infant spontaneous looking behaviour. The infants looked more at the experimenter than at the parent. In Experiment 2 it was examined whether 10-month-old infants (44 infants) would use positive information provided by the experimenter to a higher degree than positive information provided by the parent. The infants regulated their behaviour toward the toy in accordance with the information. They played more with the toy when the experimenter provided information than when the parent did. The results are discussed in terms of seeking information from knowledgeable others in ambiguous situations.

Keyword
social referencing, infants, spontaneous looking behavior, information seeking
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-168363 (URN)10.1080/17405629.2013.763473 (DOI)000322696200001 (ISI)
Available from2012-02-09 Created:2012-02-09 Last updated:2013-09-09Bibliographically approved
3. Individual Differences in Face Processing
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Individual Differences in Face Processing : Infants' Scanning Patterns and Pupil Dilations are Influenced by the Distribution of Parental Leave
Show others...
2012 (English)In: Infancy, ISSN 1525-0008, E-ISSN 1532-7078, Vol. 17, no 1, 79-101Artikel i tidskrift (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Fourteen-month-old infants were presented with static images of happy, neutral, and fearful emotional facial expressions in an eye-tracking paradigm. The emotions were expressed by the infants own parents as well as a male and female stranger (parents of another participating infant). Rather than measuring the duration of gaze in particular areas of interest, we measured number of fixations, distribution of fixations, and pupil diameter to evaluate global scanning patterns and reactions to emotional content. The three measures were differentially sensitive to differences in parental leave, emotional expression, and face familiarity. Infants scanned and processed differently happy, neutral, and fearful faces. In addition, infants cared for by both father and mother (divided parental leave) distributed their gaze more across faces than did infants primarily cared for by one parent (in this study, the mother). Pupil diameter complemented these findings, revealing that infants had larger pupil diameter during observation of neutral emotions expressed by the parent who is not currently the primary caregiver. This study demonstrates how conclusions differ as a function of the particular eye-tracking measure used and shows that the three measures used here converge on the conclusion that 14-month-old infants processing of emotional expressions is influenced by infants exposure to fathers and mothers.

National Category
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-167183 (URN)10.1111/j.1532-7078.2011.00091.x (DOI)000297507700005 (ISI)
Available from2012-01-25 Created:2012-01-23 Last updated:2012-10-24Bibliographically approved

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