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Infant Processing of Emotional Faces and Bodies: Insights from Event-related Potentials and Asymmetrical Frontal Brain Activity

Missana, Manuela

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Abstract

This thesis investigated the electrophysiological bases of infant processing of others’ emotional facial and body expressions using EEG/ERP and frontal EEG alpha asymmetry. Within the first year of life infants are already able to discriminate facial expressions of pain from anger. By 8 months of age, infants can discriminate emotions from dynamic body expressions as well as static body postures, even in the absence of any facial or vocal information. In addition, 8-month-old infants are sensitive to the orientation of a body, as they only discriminate between emotions presented in an upright orientation. Furthermore, frontal EEG alpha asymmetry results suggest that emotional facial and body expressions evoke distinct brain responses that are linked to the motivational brain systems.This work provides insights into how the human brain processes emotional information from faces and bodies early in development.

Item Type: Dissertation
Supervisor: Grossmann, Prof. Dr. Tobias
Date of thesis defense: 15 July 2015
Date Deposited: 16 Nov 2015 09:50
Date: 2015
Faculties / Institutes: The Faculty of Behavioural and Cultural Studies > Institute of Psychology
Subjects: 150 Psychology
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