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Facial recognition during early motherhood: Investigating the persistence of age and affect biases

Bunderson, M; Armstrong, K; Mayes, LC; McCrory, EJ; Thompson-Booth, C; Rutherford, HJV; (2020) Facial recognition during early motherhood: Investigating the persistence of age and affect biases. Acta Psychologica , 210 , Article 103136. 10.1016/j.actpsy.2020.103136. Green open access

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Abstract

Converging evidence demonstrates increased levels of sensitivity to infant faces in mothers. This may be reflective of a series of psychological and neurobiological changes that occur in the transition to, and during early, parenthood for the purpose of appropriate caregiving; however, this enhanced infant facial recognition is in contrast with the general adult literature regarding facial processing. In the current study, we aimed to replicate a prior study of emotion facial recognition in pregnant women in a sample of mothers with children under a year old, utilizing a paradigm in which adult and infant faces gradually changed from neutral expressions to either happy or sad expressions. Mothers were faster at the recognition of adult faces in comparison to infant faces, and were also faster at happy faces in comparison to sad faces. Results are discussed in context of the current processing literature regarding the perinatal period, and implications for the persistence of the own-age bias and happy face advantage are considered.

Type: Article
Title: Facial recognition during early motherhood: Investigating the persistence of age and affect biases
Location: Netherlands
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.actpsy.2020.103136
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.actpsy.2020.103136
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: motherhood; postpartum; facial recognition; emotion recognition; happy face advantage; own-age bias
UCL classification: UCL
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: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10110502
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