BIROn - Birkbeck Institutional Research Online

    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.

    6003.pdf - Published Version of Record
    Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

    Download (700kB) | Preview


    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.


    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Psychological Sciences
    Research Centres and Institutes: Brain and Cognitive Development, Centre for (CBCD)
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 23 Jan 2013 08:07
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:01


    Activity Overview
    6 month trend
    6 month trend

    Additional statistics are available via IRStats2.

    Archive Staff Only (login required)

    Edit/View Item Edit/View Item