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Facial emotion recognition during pregnancy: Examining the effects of facial age and affect

Byrne, SP; Mayo, A; O'Hair, C; Zankman, M; Austin, GM; Thompson-Booth, C; McCrory, EJ; ... Rutherford, HJV; + view all (2019) Facial emotion recognition during pregnancy: Examining the effects of facial age and affect. Infant Behavior and Development , 54 pp. 108-113. 10.1016/j.infbeh.2018.09.008. Green open access

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Abstract

It is vital that new mothers quickly and accurately recognize their child’s facial expressions. There is evidence that during pregnancy women develop enhanced processing of facial features associated with infancy and distress, as these cues signal vulnerability and are therefore biologically salient. In this study, 51 pregnant women at 17–36 weeks gestation watched neutral infant and adult faces gradually morph into either happy or sad expressions. We measured the speed and accuracy with which participants were able to recognize facial affect (happy vs. sad) across facial ages (infant vs. adult). Participants were faster and more accurate at recognizing happy versus sad faces and adult versus infant faces. We discuss how prior exposure to a certain face type may explain faster recognition. We also consider these results in the context of evidence indicating positive affect is recognized more quickly, but associated with slower attention and detection.

Type: Article
Title: Facial emotion recognition during pregnancy: Examining the effects of facial age and affect
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.infbeh.2018.09.008
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.infbeh.2018.09.008
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Pregnancy, Face recognition, Emotion recognition, Infant, Adult
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10068347
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