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ERIC Number: EJ856743
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 38
ISSN: ISSN-1525-0008
Categorical Representation of Facial Expressions in the Infant Brain
Leppanen, Jukka M.; Richmond, Jenny; Vogel-Farley, Vanessa K.; Moulson, Margaret C.; Nelson, Charles A.
Infancy, v14 n3 p346-362 2009
Categorical perception, demonstrated as reduced discrimination of within-category relative to between-category differences in stimuli, has been found in a variety of perceptual domains in adults. To examine the development of categorical perception in the domain of facial expression processing, we used behavioral and event-related potential (ERP) methods to assess discrimination of within-category (happy-happy) and between-category (happy-sad) differences in facial expressions in 7-month-old infants. Data from a visual paired-comparison test and recordings of attention-sensitive ERPs showed no discrimination of facial expressions in the within-category condition, whereas reliable discrimination was observed in the between-category condition. The results also showed that face-sensitive ERPs over occipital-temporal scalp (P400) were attenuated in the within-category condition relative to the between-category condition, suggesting a potential neural basis for the reduced within-category sensitivity. Together, these results suggest that the neural systems underlying categorical representation of facial expressions emerge during the early stages of postnatal development, before acquisition of language. (Contains 3 figures and 2 footnotes.)
Psychology Press. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A