One major difficulty for developmental studies of affective modulation of the startle reflex is to find stimuli that are developmentally appropriate and ethically acceptable for inducing emotions in infants. A second major difficulty is to reliably measure startle reflex. EMG recording of Orbicularis Oculi activity, in fact, represents a preferred methodology for startle measurement in adults but it is considered intrusive and moderately invasive in infancy. The main goal of a series of studies we are running at the Early Infancy Lab of the University of Ferrara was to examine viable solutions to both these problems: 1) investigating whether facial expressions spontaneously exhibited by the infants might be used as a startle motivational antecedent apt to affectively modulate the reflex; 2) exploring a new and non-invasive instrument for whole-body startle measurement in combination with the use of facial coding. Data contrasting infants between three and five months will be presented.

Facial expressions and the affective modulation of the startle reflex in early infancy

DONDI, Marco
2008

Abstract

One major difficulty for developmental studies of affective modulation of the startle reflex is to find stimuli that are developmentally appropriate and ethically acceptable for inducing emotions in infants. A second major difficulty is to reliably measure startle reflex. EMG recording of Orbicularis Oculi activity, in fact, represents a preferred methodology for startle measurement in adults but it is considered intrusive and moderately invasive in infancy. The main goal of a series of studies we are running at the Early Infancy Lab of the University of Ferrara was to examine viable solutions to both these problems: 1) investigating whether facial expressions spontaneously exhibited by the infants might be used as a startle motivational antecedent apt to affectively modulate the reflex; 2) exploring a new and non-invasive instrument for whole-body startle measurement in combination with the use of facial coding. Data contrasting infants between three and five months will be presented.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11392/533701
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