Newborns' crying in response to the cry of another newborn has been called an empathetic response. The purpose of this study was to determine whether newborns of depressed mothers showed the same response. Newborns of depressed and non-depressed mothers were presented with cry sounds of themselves or other infants, and their sucking and heart rate were recorded. The newborns of non-depressed mothers responded to the cry sounds of other infants with reduced sucking and decreased heart rate. In contrast, the newborns of depressed mothers did not show a change in their sucking or heart rate to the cry sounds of other infants. This lesser attentiveness/responsiveness to other infants' cry sounds may predict their later lack of empathy.
- Discrimination cry sounds
- Newborns of depressed mothers
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology