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The Emergence and Stability of the Attentional Bias to Fearful Faces in Infancy
University of Tampere. (Infant Cognition Lab)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0208-4212
2013 (English)In: Infancy, ISSN 1525-0008, E-ISSN 1532-7078, Vol. 18, no 6, 905-926 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Several studies have shown that at 7 months of age, infants display an atten- tional bias toward fearful facial expressions. In this study, we analyzed visual attention and heart rate data from a cross-sectional study with 5-, 7-, 9-, and 11-month-old infants (Experiment 1) and visual attention from a longitudinal study with 5- and 7-month-old infants (Experiment 2) to exam- ine the emergence and stability of the attentional bias to fearful facial expressions. In both experiments, the attentional bias to fearful faces appeared to emerge between 5 and 7 months of age: 5-month-olds did not show a difference in disengaging attention from fearful and nonfearful faces, whereas 7- and 9-month-old infants had a lower probability of disengaging attention from fearful than nonfearful faces. Across the age groups, heart 

rate (HR) data (Experiment 1) showed a more pronounced and longer-last- ing HR deceleration to fearful than nonfearful expressions. The results are discussed in relation to the development of the perception and experience of fear and the interaction between emotional and attentional processes. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 18, no 6, 905-926 p.
Keyword [en]
Infants, Attention, Emotions, Fear-bias
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-276459DOI: 10.1111/infa.12013OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-276459DiVA: diva2:903080
Available from: 2016-02-13 Created: 2016-02-13 Last updated: 2016-02-13

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