- Coordination of gaze, facial expressions and vocalizations of early infant communication with mother and father
- Infant Behavior and Development
- Volume | Issue number
- 35 | 3
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Research Institute of Child Development and Education (RICDE)
Gaze direction, expressive behaviors and vocalizations are infants’ first form of emotional communication. The present study examined the emotional configurations of these three behaviors during face-to-face situations and the effect of infants’ and parents’ gender. We observed 34 boys and 32 girls (mean age of 18 weeks) during the normal face-to-face interaction with their mother and with their father. Three main behaviors and their temporal co-occurrence were observed: gaze direction at the partner as an indication of infants’ attention, positive and negative facial expressions as emotional communication, and vocalizations as first forms of utterances. Pairwise, infants’ production of vocalizations, positive facial expressions and gaze were strongly coordinated with each. In addition, the majority of vocalizations produced during positive facial expressions coincided with gaze at the parent. Results on the effect of gender showed that infants (both boys and girls) produced coordinated patterns of positive facial expressions and gaze more often during the interaction with the mother as compared to the interaction with the father. Results contribute to the research on infants’ early expression of emotions and gender differences.
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