ERIC Number: EJ867431
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jan
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
Superior Detection of Threat-Relevant Stimuli in Infancy
LoBue, Vanessa; DeLoache, Judy S.
Developmental Science, v13 n1 p221-228 Jan 2010
The ability to quickly detect potential threat is an important survival mechanism for humans and other animals. Past research has established that adults have an attentional bias for the detection of threat-relevant stimuli, including snakes and spiders as well as angry human faces. Recent studies have documented that preschool children also detect the presence of threatening stimuli more quickly than various non-threatening stimuli. Here we report the first evidence that this attentional bias is present even in infancy. In two experiments, 8- to 14-month-old infants responded more rapidly to snakes than to flowers and more rapidly to angry than to happy faces. These data provide the first evidence of enhanced visual detection of threat-relevant stimuli in infants and hence offer especially strong support for the existence of a general bias for the detection of threat in humans.
Descriptors: Stimuli, Preschool Children, Infants, Experiments, Zoology, Fear, Psychological Patterns
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Preschool Education
Authoring Institution: N/A