How do children view and categorise human and dog facial expressions?

Correia Caeiro, Catia, Lawrence, Abbey, Abdelrahman, Abdelhady , Guo, Kun and Mills, Daniel (2022) How do children view and categorise human and dog facial expressions? Developmental Science . ISSN 1363-755X

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How do children view and categorise human and dog facial expressions?
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Correia‐Caeiro, C. et al. (2022) How do children view and categorise human and dog facial expressions. Development Science, e13332..pdf - Whole Document
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Children are often surrounded by other humans and companion animals (e.g., dogs, cats); and understanding facial
expressions in all these social partners may be critical to successful social interactions. In an eye-tracking study, we examined how children (4–10 years old) view and label facial expressions in adult humans and dogs. We found that children looked more at dogs than humans, and more at negative than positive or neutral human expressions. Their viewing patterns (Proportion of Viewing Time, PVT) at individual facial regions were also modified by the viewed species and emotion, with the eyes not always being most viewed: this related to positive anticipation when
viewing humans, whilst when viewing dogs, the mouth was viewed more or equally compared to the eyes for all emotions. We further found that children’s labelling (Emotion Categorisation Accuracy, ECA) was better for the perceived valence than for emotion category, with positive human expressions easier than both positive and
negative dog expressions. They performed poorly when asked to freely label facial expressions but performed better for human than dog expressions. Finally, we found some effects of age, sex, and other factors (e.g., experience with dogs) on both PVT and ECA. Our study shows that children have a different gaze pattern and identification
accuracy compared to adults, for viewing faces of human adults and dogs. We suggest that for recognising human (own-face-type) expressions, familiarity obtained through casual social interactions may be sufficient; but for recognising dog (other-face-type) expressions, explicit training may be required to develop competence.

Keywords:categorisation, children, comparative perception, dogs, eye-tracking, facial expressions
Subjects:D Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture and related subjects > D390 Veterinary Sciences not elsewhere classified
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life and Environmental Sciences > Department of Life Sciences
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ID Code:52301
Deposited On:02 Nov 2022 16:43

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