Using infrared thermography to assess emotional responses to infants
Putnick, Diane L.
Bornstein, Marc H.
Date of Issue2014
College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences
Adult–infant interactions operate simultaneously across multiple domains and at multiple levels – from physiology to behaviour. Unpackaging and understanding them, therefore, involve analysis of multiple data streams. In this study, we tested physiological responses and cognitive preferences for infant and adult faces in adult females and males. Infrared thermography was used to assess facial temperature changes as a measure of emotional valence, and we used a behavioural rating system to assess adults' expressed preferences. We found greater physiological activation in response to infant stimuli in females than males. As for cognitive preferences, we found greater responses to adult stimuli than to infant stimuli, both in males and females. The results are discussed in light of the Life History Theory. Finally, we discuss the importance of integrating the two data streams on our conclusions.
Early Child Development and Care
© 2014 Taylor & Francis. This is the author created version of a work that has been peer reviewed and accepted for publication by Early Child Development and Care, Taylor & Francis. It incorporates referee’s comments but changes resulting from the publishing process, such as copyediting, structural formatting, may not be reflected in this document. The published version is available at: [http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03004430.2014.932153].