Processing of faces and emotional expressions in infants at risk of social phobia
Creswell, C., Woolgar, M., Cooper, P., Giannakakis, A., Schofield, E., Young, A. W. and Murray, L. (2008) Processing of faces and emotional expressions in infants at risk of social phobia. Cognition & Emotion, 22 (3). pp. 437-458. ISSN 0269-9931
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1080/02699930701872392
Individuals with social phobia display social information processing biases yet their aetiological significance is unclear. Infants of mothers with social phobia and control infants' responses were assessed at 10 days, 10 and 16 weeks, and 10 months to faces versus non-faces, variations in intensity of emotional expressions, and gaze direction. Infant temperament and maternal behaviours were also assessed. Both groups showed a preference for faces over non-faces at 10 days and 10 weeks, and full faces over profiles at 16 weeks; they also looked more to high vs. low intensity angry faces at 10 weeks, and fearful faces at 10 months; however, index infants' initial orientation and overall looking to high-intensity fear faces was relatively less than controls at 10 weeks. This was not explained by infant temperament or maternal behaviours. The findings suggest that offspring of mothers with social phobia show processing biases to emotional expressions in infancy.