EEG responses to mock facial expressions by infants of depressed mothers

Miguel A. Diego, Tiffany Field, Nancy A. Jones, Maria Hernandez-Reif, Christy Cullen, Saul Schanberg, Cynthia Kuhn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


EEG responses to mothers' and strangers' mock facial expressions (happy, surprised and sad) during a peek-a-boo game were recorded in 60, 3- to 6-month-old infants of depressed and non-depressed mothers. The infants of depressed mothers exhibited less positive and more negative affect and were less likely to look at the facial expressions displayed by both their mother and a stranger. The infants of depressed mothers showed greater relative right frontal EEG asymmetry than the infants of non-depressed mothers throughout the different expressions of the mothers and strangers and showed elevated salivary cortisol levels after the session. Both groups of infants showed significantly greater right frontal asymmetry during their mothers' and stranger's sad versus happy expression. In addition, infants showed greater right frontal EEG asymmetry during the stranger's surprised versus happy expression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)150-162
Number of pages13
JournalInfant Behavior and Development
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2004


  • Expression
  • Frontal asymmetry
  • Infant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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