A new perspective on neonatal smiling: Differences between the judgments of expert coders and naive observers

Marco Dondi, Daniel Messinger, Marta Colle, Alessia Tabasso, Francesca Simion, Beatrice Dalla Barba, Alan Fogel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations

Abstract

To better understand the form and recognizability of neonatal smiling, 32 newborns (14 girls; M = 25.6 hr) were videorecorded in the behavioral states of alertness, drowsiness, active sleep, and quiet sleep. Baby Facial Action Coding System coding of both lip corner raising (simple or non-Duchenne) and lip corner raising with cheek raising (Duchenne smile) was followed by a smile recognition task using 48 naive observers. Both types of smiles were detected in all behavioral states. Lip corner raising with cheek raising (Duchenne smiling) tended to predominate in active (rapid eye movement) sleep, suggesting a potential tie to early constituents of emotion. A significant portion of the typically briefer lip corner raising distinguished by expert coders was not recognized as smiling by the naive observers. These briefer actions may represent a motor phenomenon idiosyncratic to the neonatal period.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)235-255
Number of pages21
JournalInfancy
Volume12
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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