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Examining Preverbal Infants' Ability to Map Labels to Facial Configurations

Ruba, AL; Harris, LT; Wilbourn, MP; (2021) Examining Preverbal Infants' Ability to Map Labels to Facial Configurations. Affective Science , 2 pp. 142-149. 10.1007/s42761-020-00015-9. Green open access

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Abstract

Language is important for emotion perception, but very little is known about how emotion labels are learned. The current studies examine how preverbal infants map novel labels onto facial configurations. Across studies, infants were tested with a modified habituation paradigm (“switch design”). Experiments 1 and 2 found that 18-month-olds, but not 14-month-olds, mapped novel labels (“blicket” and “toma”) to human facial configurations associated with happiness and sadness. Subsequent analyses revealed that vocabulary size positively correlated with 14-month-olds’ ability to form the mappings. Experiment 3 found that 14-month-olds were able to map novel labels to facial configurations when the visual complexity of the stimuli was reduced (i.e., by using cartoon facial configurations). This suggests that cognitive maturation and language development influence infants’ associative word learning with facial configurations. The current studies are a critical first step in determining how infants navigate the complex process of learning emotion labels.

Type: Article
Title: Examining Preverbal Infants' Ability to Map Labels to Facial Configurations
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s42761-020-00015-9
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1007/s42761-020-00015-9
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: Language, Infancy, Emotions, Word learning
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 > Experimental Psychology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10116034
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