Relations Between Mother‐Child Interactions and the Neural Correlates of Face Processing in 6‐Month‐Olds
Developmental studies of face processing have revealed age‐related changes in how infants allocate neurophysiological resources to the face of a caregiver and an unfamiliar adult. We hypothesize that developmental changes in how infants interact with their caregiver are related to the changes in brain response. We studied 6‐month‐olds because this age is frequently noted in the behavioral and neurophysiological literature as a time of transition in which infants begin to discriminate more readily between caregivers and unfamiliar adults. We used infants' behavioral responses to an original behavioral paradigm to predict event‐related potential (ERP) responses to pictures of the mother's face and a stranger's face in the same group of participants. Our results suggest that individual differences in infants' proximity‐seeking behaviors during interactions with the mother correlate with their neurophysiological responses to the mother's face as opposed to an unfamiliar face for the Nc component of the ERP. These results have implications for understanding the role of the changing infant‐caregiver relationship on the development of the face processing system in early infancy.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
10.1207/s15327078in1101_3 About DOI