Infant face interest is associated with voice information and maternal psychological health

Taylor, G ORCID:, Slade, P and Herbert, JS 2014, 'Infant face interest is associated with voice information and maternal psychological health' , Infant Behavior and Development, 37 (4) , pp. 597-605.

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Early infant interest in their mother's face is driven by an experience based face processing system, and is associated with maternal psychological health, even within a non clinical community sample. The present study examined the role of the voice in eliciting infants’ interest in mother and stranger faces and in the association between infant face interest and maternal psychological health. Infants aged 3.5-months were shown photographs of their mother's and a stranger's face paired with an audio recording of their mother's and a stranger's voice that was either matched (e.g., mother's face and voice) or mismatched (e.g., mother's face and stranger's voice). Infants spent more time attending to the stranger's matched face and voice than the mother's matched face and voice and the mismatched faces and voices. Thus, infants demonstrated an earlier preference for a stranger's face when given voice information than when the face is presented alone. In the present sample, maternal psychological health varied with 56.7% of mothers reporting mild mood symptoms (depression, anxiety or stress response to childbirth). Infants of mothers with significant mild maternal mood symptoms looked longer at the faces and voices compared to infants of mothers who did not report mild maternal mood symptoms. In sum, infants’ experience based face processing system is sensitive to their mothers’ maternal psychological health and the multimodal nature of faces.

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > School of Health and Society > Centre for Health Sciences Research
Journal or Publication Title: Infant Behavior and Development
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0163-6383
Related URLs:
Funders: Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
Depositing User: G Taylor
Date Deposited: 17 Oct 2016 14:58
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2022 21:17

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