Supplementary Figures and Tables from Fearful but not happy expressions boost face detection in human infants
2017-08-29T09:41:17Z (GMT) by
Human adults show an attentional bias towards fearful faces, an adaptive behaviour that relies on amygdala function. This attentional bias emerges in infancy between 5 and 7 months, but the underlying developmental mechanism is unknown. To examine possible precursors, we investigated whether 3.5-, 6- and 12-month-old infants show facilitated <i>detection</i> of fearful faces in noise, compared to happy faces. Happy or fearful faces, mixed with noise, were presented to infants (<i>N</i> = 192), paired with pure noise. We applied multivariate pattern analyses to several measures of infant looking behaviour to derive a criterion-free, continuous measure of face detection evidence in each trial. Analyses of the resulting psychometric curves supported the hypothesis of a detection advantage for fearful faces compared to happy faces, from 3.5 months of age and across all age groups. Overall, our data show a readiness to detect fearful faces (compared to happy faces) in younger infants that developmentally precedes the previously documented attentional bias to fearful faces in older infants and adults.