Facial expression and EEG responses to happy and sad faces/voices by 3-month-old infants of depressed mothers

Tiffany Field, Jeffrey Pickens, Nathan A. Fox, Jeanette Gonzalez, Thomas Nawrocki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

35 Scopus citations

Abstract

Videotaped happy and sad face/voice stimuli were presented after a neutral starfield baseline stimulus to 24 3-month-old infants of depressed and non-depressed mothers. The infants looked at and showed more positive expressions during the happy and sad face/voice stimuli versus the neutral starfield. The infants of non-depressed versus depressed mothers looked at the sad face/voice stimulus longer, perhaps because the sad face/voice stimulus was more novel for the infants of non-depressed mothers. A negative correlation between EEG and visual fixation time suggested that less left frontal activation (usually associated with withdrawal) was related to greater visual fixation time (usually associated with approach behaviour). This mixed approach/ withdrawal response was observed more frequently in infants of non-depressed mothers and could be interpreted as a vigilant or empathetic response in those infants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)485-494
Number of pages10
JournalBritish Journal of Developmental Psychology
Volume16
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Developmental Neuroscience

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