The functional architecture of mother-infant communication, and the development of infant social expressiveness in the first two months

Murray, L. and De Pascalis, L. and Bozicevic, L. and Hawkins, L. and Sclafani, Valentina and Ferrari, P.F. (2016) The functional architecture of mother-infant communication, and the development of infant social expressiveness in the first two months. Scientific Reports, 6 (39019). ISSN 2045-2322

Full content URL: https://doi.org/10.1038/srep39019

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Abstract

By two-three months, infants show active social expressions during face-to-face interactions. These interactions are important, as they provide the foundation for later emotional regulation and cognition, but little is known about how infant social expressiveness develops. We considered two different accounts. One emphasizes the contingency of parental responsiveness, regardless of its form; the other, the functional architecture account, emphasizes the preparedness of both infants and parents to respond in specific ways to particular forms of behaviour in their partner. We videotaped mother-infant interactions from one to nine weeks, and analysed them with a micro-analytic coding scheme. Infant social expressiveness increased through the nine-week period, particularly after 3 weeks. This development was unrelated to the extent of maternal contingent responsiveness, even to infant social expressions. By contrast, specific forms of response that mothers used preferentially for infant social expressions-mirroring, marking with a smile- predicted the increase in these infant behaviours over time. These results support a functional architecture account of the perceptual and behavioural predispositions of infants and parents that allow young infants to capitalize on relatively limited exposure to specific parental behaviours, in order to develop important social capacities. © The Author(s) 2016.

Additional Information:cited By 14
Keywords:child behavior, exposure, facial expression, human, infant, mother, parental behavior, child development, clinical trial, female, mother child relation, newborn, physiology, social behavior, Child Development, Humans, Infant, Newborn, Mother-Child Relations, Social Behavior
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C800 Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C820 Developmental Psychology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
ID Code:34829
Deposited On:12 Apr 2019 09:32

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