Which factors impact infant emotion processing and what does that tell us about the underlying mechanisms?
Humans are born as social beings. Already newborns exhibit a basic sensitivity to social signals, and within the first year of life, an infant’s social abilities are rapidly expanded and refined. One of the most important sources of social information for a preverbal infant is the face; just as adults, infants use facial features and expressions to extract information about someone’s attention, familiarity, and emotional state, to name a few. In my talk, I will focus on one of the most investigated aspects in face processing, namely the perception of emotional information.
Importantly, infants start to discriminate different emotional facial expressions around 7 months of age. Concentrating on this important developmental period, I will discuss a number of factors that influence the processing of emotional information, including presentation duration and spatial frequency as well as secondary factors, in particular the potential role of odor as a source of social information. I will focus in particular on the underlying mechanisms, discussing predominantly EEG results and their implications for early emotion processing.
Sarah Jessen, Universität zu Lübeck, Klinik für Neurologie, DE