Discriminative Infant Smiling to Orientations of Talking Faces of Mother and Stranger

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Thirty-two infants aged 14 and 20 weeks were presented with a live face in each of eight conditions, which consisted of all combinations of (a) a 0° or 90° orientation; (b) familiar face (the infant's mother) or distinctively unfamiliar face; and (c) talking or silent context. The previous findings that younger infants smile longer at 0° than at 90° faces and that this differential responsiveness to orientation wanes with increasing age were replicated; the hypothesis that older infants would smile longest at their mothers' talking faces in the 0° orientation was confirmed. In addition, infants of both ages smiled more at their mothers than at the stranger, although this effect interacted with orientation and sex of the infant.



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