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Discrimination of fearful and happy body postures in 8-month-old infants: an event-related potential study.

Missana M, Rajhans P, Atkinson AP, Grossmann T - Front Hum Neurosci (2014)

Bottom Line: Adults readily detect emotions from body postures, but it is unclear whether infants are sensitive to emotional body postures.Our results revealed two emotion-sensitive ERP components: body postures evoked an early N290 at occipital electrodes and a later Nc at fronto-central electrodes that were enhanced in response to fearful (relative to happy) expressions.This provides evidence for an early developmental emergence of the neural processes involved in the discrimination of emotional body postures.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Early Social Development Group, Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences Leipzig, Germany.

ABSTRACT
Responding to others' emotional body expressions is an essential social skill in humans. Adults readily detect emotions from body postures, but it is unclear whether infants are sensitive to emotional body postures. We examined 8-month-old infants' brain responses to emotional body postures by measuring event-related potentials (ERPs) to happy and fearful bodies. Our results revealed two emotion-sensitive ERP components: body postures evoked an early N290 at occipital electrodes and a later Nc at fronto-central electrodes that were enhanced in response to fearful (relative to happy) expressions. These findings demonstrate that: (a) 8-month-old infants discriminate between static emotional body postures; and (b) similar to infant emotional face perception, the sensitivity to emotional body postures is reflected in early perceptual (N290) and later attentional (Nc) neural processes. This provides evidence for an early developmental emergence of the neural processes involved in the discrimination of emotional body postures.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

This figure shows examples of the stimuli and the event-related brain potentials (ERPs). (A) These are examples of the static full-light body expression stimuli (upright) used in the study. (B) This shows the ERPs at fronto-central and occipital electrodes time-locked to the stimulus onset in 8-month-old infants elicited by fearful upright (red) and happy upright (blue) static full-light body expressions. The time windows during which significant differences between fearful and happy body expressions were observed are marked in gray. Note that negativity is plotted upward.
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Figure 1: This figure shows examples of the stimuli and the event-related brain potentials (ERPs). (A) These are examples of the static full-light body expression stimuli (upright) used in the study. (B) This shows the ERPs at fronto-central and occipital electrodes time-locked to the stimulus onset in 8-month-old infants elicited by fearful upright (red) and happy upright (blue) static full-light body expressions. The time windows during which significant differences between fearful and happy body expressions were observed are marked in gray. Note that negativity is plotted upward.

Mentions: The stimulus material consisted of full-light static body expressions displaying six different fearful and six different happy expressions (from Atkinson et al., 2004). These expressions were taken from the same actors posing the same emotions as in a previous ERPs study (Missana et al., 2014a) by selecting still frames of the full-light version of the body expression recording at the peak of the expression (see Figure 1A). From the original set of eight stimuli per condition used in Missana et al.’s (2014a) study, six stimuli for each emotion were selected on the basis of their recognition rate by a group of adults (Atkinson et al., 2004) (at least 40% mean percentage correct identification of the emotion displayed; chance level was 16.7%). The stimuli had a mean height of 11.9 cm subtending a visual angle of 9.74° (SD = 3.5 cm) and a mean width of 6.5 cm subtending a visual angle of 5.4° (SD = 3.1 cm).


Discrimination of fearful and happy body postures in 8-month-old infants: an event-related potential study.

Missana M, Rajhans P, Atkinson AP, Grossmann T - Front Hum Neurosci (2014)

This figure shows examples of the stimuli and the event-related brain potentials (ERPs). (A) These are examples of the static full-light body expression stimuli (upright) used in the study. (B) This shows the ERPs at fronto-central and occipital electrodes time-locked to the stimulus onset in 8-month-old infants elicited by fearful upright (red) and happy upright (blue) static full-light body expressions. The time windows during which significant differences between fearful and happy body expressions were observed are marked in gray. Note that negativity is plotted upward.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4109437&req=5

Figure 1: This figure shows examples of the stimuli and the event-related brain potentials (ERPs). (A) These are examples of the static full-light body expression stimuli (upright) used in the study. (B) This shows the ERPs at fronto-central and occipital electrodes time-locked to the stimulus onset in 8-month-old infants elicited by fearful upright (red) and happy upright (blue) static full-light body expressions. The time windows during which significant differences between fearful and happy body expressions were observed are marked in gray. Note that negativity is plotted upward.
Mentions: The stimulus material consisted of full-light static body expressions displaying six different fearful and six different happy expressions (from Atkinson et al., 2004). These expressions were taken from the same actors posing the same emotions as in a previous ERPs study (Missana et al., 2014a) by selecting still frames of the full-light version of the body expression recording at the peak of the expression (see Figure 1A). From the original set of eight stimuli per condition used in Missana et al.’s (2014a) study, six stimuli for each emotion were selected on the basis of their recognition rate by a group of adults (Atkinson et al., 2004) (at least 40% mean percentage correct identification of the emotion displayed; chance level was 16.7%). The stimuli had a mean height of 11.9 cm subtending a visual angle of 9.74° (SD = 3.5 cm) and a mean width of 6.5 cm subtending a visual angle of 5.4° (SD = 3.1 cm).

Bottom Line: Adults readily detect emotions from body postures, but it is unclear whether infants are sensitive to emotional body postures.Our results revealed two emotion-sensitive ERP components: body postures evoked an early N290 at occipital electrodes and a later Nc at fronto-central electrodes that were enhanced in response to fearful (relative to happy) expressions.This provides evidence for an early developmental emergence of the neural processes involved in the discrimination of emotional body postures.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Early Social Development Group, Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences Leipzig, Germany.

ABSTRACT
Responding to others' emotional body expressions is an essential social skill in humans. Adults readily detect emotions from body postures, but it is unclear whether infants are sensitive to emotional body postures. We examined 8-month-old infants' brain responses to emotional body postures by measuring event-related potentials (ERPs) to happy and fearful bodies. Our results revealed two emotion-sensitive ERP components: body postures evoked an early N290 at occipital electrodes and a later Nc at fronto-central electrodes that were enhanced in response to fearful (relative to happy) expressions. These findings demonstrate that: (a) 8-month-old infants discriminate between static emotional body postures; and (b) similar to infant emotional face perception, the sensitivity to emotional body postures is reflected in early perceptual (N290) and later attentional (Nc) neural processes. This provides evidence for an early developmental emergence of the neural processes involved in the discrimination of emotional body postures.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus