Visual and cardiac responses to animate and inanimate faces by young term and preterm infants.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Infants' looking and looking-away behaviors, as well as cardiac responses to mothers' spontaneous and imitative and to dolls' animated and still faces, were recorded for 18 term and 18 preterm infants when they were 3 months old. Infants spent less time looking at their mothers' than at the doll's faces, and their heart-rate levels were elevated while looking at mothers' faces. These effects were most pronounced for the preterm infants whose inferior scores on the animate visual item of the Brazelton neonatal scale suggested a continuity of visual inattentiveness to animate stimuli. Both groups also looked at the inanimate more than the animate doll's face and evidenced lower heart-rate levels during that situation. An information-processing/arousal-modulation interpretation was made for infant looking-away behavior and elevated heart rate during the more arousing mother's-face situations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)188-194
Number of pages7
JournalChild development
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1979
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


Dive into the research topics of 'Visual and cardiac responses to animate and inanimate faces by young term and preterm infants.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this