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The Perception of Facial Expressions by the Three-Month-Old

Maria E. Barrera and Daphne Maurer
Child Development
Vol. 52, No. 1 (Mar., 1981), pp. 203-206
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Society for Research in Child Development
DOI: 10.2307/1129231
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1129231
Page Count: 4
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
The Perception of Facial Expressions by the Three-Month-Old
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Abstract

We used habituation to investigate 3-month-olds' abilities to discriminate and recognize smiling and frowning expressions posed by the mother or by a female stranger. Infants discriminated between the expressions and recognized which expression they had seen during the habituation trials; they did so whether the expressions were posed by the mother or by the stranger. However, when the expressions were posed by the mother, more infants showed the discrimination, and boys looked at her pictures longer than girls. These differences suggest that infants' previous experiences with faces influence their perceptions of the facial expressions.

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