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    The shared signal hypothesis: effects of emotion-gaze congruency in infant and adult visual preferences

    Rigato, Silvia and Menon, E. and Farroni, Teresa and Johnson, Mark H. (2013) The shared signal hypothesis: effects of emotion-gaze congruency in infant and adult visual preferences. British Journal of Developmental Psychology 31 (1), pp. 15-29. ISSN 0261-510X.

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    Abstract

    In this study, 4-month-old infants’ and adults’ spontaneous preferences for emotional and neutral displays with direct and averted gaze are investigated using visual preference paradigms. Specifically, by presenting two approach-oriented emotions (happiness and anger) and two avoidance-oriented emotions (fear and sadness), we asked whether the pattern of emotion–gaze interaction suggested by the shared signal hypothesis (SSH) would also be found with this paradigm. Both age groups demonstrated an ability to discern the approach- and avoidance-oriented emotions, matching them with direct and averted gaze, respectively. Nonetheless, infants showed a greater sensitivity for the congruent emotion-gaze combination in the approach-oriented emotions, while adults were equally sensitive to the gaze-expression congruence for both the approach- and avoidance-oriented emotions. In a follow-up experiment, infants showed no preference for direct or averted gaze in the context of neutral faces. We conclude that the SSH may have validity from infancy, gradually extending from approach-oriented emotions to avoidance-oriented emotions over the course of development.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Schools and Departments > School of Science > Psychological Sciences
    Research Centre: Brain and Cognitive Development, Centre for (CBCD)
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 23 Jan 2013 08:07
    Last Modified: 02 Dec 2016 11:45
    URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/6003

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