PRESS-NEWS.org - Press Release Distribution
FREE PRESS RELEASES DISTRIBUTION

Babies know when you're faking

Infants can detect unjustified emotional reactions as early as 18 months, Concordia University researchers prove

2013-10-17
(Press-News.org) This news release is available in French.

Montreal, 16 October 2013 — If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands! That's easy enough for children to figure out because the emotion matches the movement. But when feelings and reactions don't align, can kids tell there's something wrong? New research from Concordia University proves that they can — as early as 18 months.

In a study recently published in Infancy: The Official Journal of the International Society on Infant Studies, psychology researchers Sabrina Chiarella and Diane Poulin-Dubois demonstrate that infants can detect whether a person's emotions are justifiable given a particular context. They prove that babies understand how the meaning of an experience is directly linked to the expressions that follow.

The implications are significant, especially for caregivers. "Our research shows that babies cannot be fooled into believing something that causes pain results in pleasure. Adults often try to shield infants from distress by putting on a happy face following a negative experience. But babies know the truth: as early as 18 months, they can implicitly understand which emotions go with which events," says psychology professor Poulin-Dubois.

To perform the research, she and PhD candidate Sabrina Chiarella recruited 92 infants at the 15 and 18-month mark. In a lab setting, the babies watched as an actor went through several scenarios in which emotional reactions went with or against pantomimed experiences (for more, see the related video). In one scenario, the researcher showed a mismatched emotion by being sad when presented with a desired toy. In another, she expressed an emotion that went with the experience by reacting in pain when pretending to hurt her finger.

At 15 months, the infants did not show a significant difference in reactions to these events, showing empathy through their facial expressions to all sad faces. This indicates that the understanding of the link between a facial expression following an emotional experience is an ability that has yet to develop at that stage.

At 18 months, however, the infants clearly detected when facial expressions did not match the experience. They spent more time looking at the researcher's face and checked back more frequently with the caregiver in the room with them so that they could gauge the reaction of a trusted source. They also showed empathy toward the person only when her sad face was justified; that is, only when the researcher was sad or in pain when she was supposed to be.

Chiarella explains that the indiscriminate show of concern to sad faces in the younger infants is an adaptive behaviour. "The ability to detect sadness and then react immediately has an evolutionary implication. However, to function effectively in the social world, children need to develop the ability to understand others' behaviours by inferring what is going on internally for those around them."

The researchers are currently examining whether infants who are exposed to an individual who is emotionally unreliable will affect in their willingness to help or learn from that individual.

### Partners in research: This research was supported by Le Fonds Québécois de la Recherche sur la Société et la Culture, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Both researchers are members of Centre for Research in Human Development.

Related links: "If you're happy, baby knows it" – related video content Department of Psychology Centre for Research in Human Development Centre for Research in Human Development Le Fonds Québécois de la Recherche sur la Société et la Culture Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

Media contact: Cléa Desjardins
Senior advisor, media relations
University Communications Services
Concordia University
Phone: 514-848-2424, ext. 5068
Email: clea.desjardins@concordia.ca
Web: concordia.ca/now/media-relations
Twitter: twitter.com/CleaDesjardins


ELSE PRESS RELEASES FROM THIS DATE:

Using mobile devices to look up drug info prevents adverse events in nursing homes

2013-10-17
PITTSBURGH, Oct. 16, 2013 – Nearly nine out of 10 nursing home physicians said that using their mobile devices to look up prescription drug information prevented at least one adverse drug event in the previous month, according to a University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Department of Biomedical Informatics study published last week in the Journal of the American Medical Directors Association. Adverse drug events are associated with an estimated 93,000 deaths and $4 billion in excess health care costs in nursing homes each year, said lead investigator Steven M. Handler, ...

Without plants, Earth would cook under billions of tons of additional carbon

2013-10-17
VIDEO: This video shows the extent to which the land acted as a source of carbon in the atmosphere (brown areas), or a carbon "sink " (green areas) that absorbed carbon from... Click here for more information. Enhanced growth of Earth's leafy greens during the 20th century has significantly slowed the planet's transition to being red-hot, according to the first study to specify the extent to which plants have prevented climate change since pre-industrial times. Researchers ...

What makes a data visualization memorable?

2013-10-17
Cambridge, Mass. – October 16, 2013 – It's easy to spot a "bad" data visualization—one packed with too much text, excessive ornamentation, gaudy colors, and clip art. Design guru Edward Tufte derided such decorations as redundant at best, useless at worst, labeling them "chart junk." Yet a debate still rages among visualization experts: Can these reviled extra elements serve a purpose? Taking a scientific approach to design, researchers from Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology are offering a new take on that debate. The same design elements that ...

Doctors likely to accept new medicaid patients as coverage expands

2013-10-17
Philadelphia, Pa. (October 16, 2013) – The upcoming expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) won't lead physicians to reduce the number of new Medicaid patients they accept, suggests a study in the November issue of Medical Care, published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, a part of Wolters Kluwer Health. However, doctors may be less likely to accept those patients who remain uninsured, according to an analysis of historical data by Lindsay M. Sabik, PhD, and Sabina Ohri Gandhi, PhD, of Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond. They write, "Our results ...

The brain's neural thermostat

2013-10-17
As we learn and develop, our neurons change. They make new pathways and connections as our brain processes new information. In order to do this, individual neurons use an internal gauge to maintain a delicate balance that keeps our brains from becoming too excitable. Scientists have long theorized a larger internal system monitors these individual gauges, like a neural thermostat, regulating average firing rates across the whole brain. Without this thermostat, they reasoned, our flexible neurons would fire out of control, making bad connections or none at all. The result ...

New soil testing kit for third world countries

2013-10-17
Oct. 16, 2013—Researchers at the University of Maryland and Columbia University have developed a new soil testing kit designed to help farmers in third world countries. On-the-spot soil testing could have major impact in improving crop yields due to poor soils. The kit contains battery-operated instruments and safe materials for agricultural extension agents to handle in the field. They can test for the availability of nitrogen, phosphorus, sulfur, and potassium, as well as active organic matter, and certain soil physical limitations. The raw results of the tests are sent ...

Study puts freshwater biodiversity on the map for planners and policymakers

2013-10-17
MADISON – When it comes to economic growth and environmental impacts, it can seem like Newton's third law of motion is the rule — for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction — and that in most cases, the economy prospers and the environment suffers. A team of UW-Madison researchers is hoping to help change that narrative and add a little ecology to economic decision making by forecasting how future policies regarding urban development and agricultural cultivation may impact aquatic ecosystems, which harbor astounding amounts of biodiversity and provide ...

Blood pressure drugs shown to decrease risk of Alzheimer's disease dementia

2013-10-17
A Johns Hopkins-led analysis of data previously gathered on more than 3,000 elderly Americans strongly suggests that taking certain blood pressure medications to control blood pressure may reduce the risk of dementia due to Alzheimer's disease (AD). In a report published in a recent edition of the journal Neurology, a team of researchers found that people over the age of 75 with normal cognition who used diuretics, angiotensin-1 receptor blockers (ARBs) and angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors showed a reduced risk of AD dementia by at least 50 percent. In addition, ...

Children born to teen mothers have delayed development, likely due to social factors

2013-10-17
TORONTO, Oct. 16, 2013--Babies born to teen mothers have less developed speaking skills at age five than children of older mothers, a new study has found. "We don't believe that having a baby in your teens is the cause of underdeveloped speaking skills," said Dr. Julia Morinis, the lead author and researcher in the Centre for Research on Inner City Health of St. Michael's Hospital. "It's likely that being a teen mother is a risk factor that indicates poorer circumstance for development opportunities in some cases." Dr. Morinis points to teen mothers' limited opportunities ...

The NICU environment: Not all silence is golden

2013-10-17
Cincinnati, OH, October 17, 2013 -- Medical technology has improved the survival rates of premature infants, but adverse developmental outcomes are a continuing problem. Researchers have turned their attention to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), where premature infants spend their first few weeks or months, for potential answers. In a new study scheduled for publication in The Journal of Pediatrics, researchers studied the relationship between different room types in the NICU and the developmental outcomes of the children at 2 years of age. Research has suggested ...

LAST 30 PRESS RELEASES:

Scientists model 'true prevalence' of COVID-19 throughout pandemic

New breakthrough to help immune systems in the fight against cancer

Through the thin-film glass, researchers spot a new liquid phase

Administering opioids to pregnant mice alters behavior and gene expression in offspring

Brain's 'memory center' needed to recognize image sequences but not single sights

Safety of second dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines after first-dose allergic reactions

Changes in disparities in access to care, health after Medicare eligibility

Use of high-risk medications among lonely older adults

65+ and lonely? Don't talk to your doctor about another prescription

Exosome formulation developed to deliver antibodies for choroidal neovascularization therapy

Second COVID-19 mRNA vaccine dose found safe following allergic reactions to first dose

Plant root-associated bacteria preferentially colonize their native host-plant roots

Rare inherited variants in previously unsuspected genes may confer significant risk for autism

International experts call for a unified public health response to NAFLD and NASH epidemic

International collaboration of scientists rewrite the rulebook of flowering plant genetics

Improving air quality reduces dementia risk, multiple studies suggest

Misplaced trust: When trust in science fosters pseudoscience

Two types of blood pressure meds prevent heart events equally, but side effects differ

New statement provides path to include ethnicity, ancestry, race in genomic research

Among effective antihypertensive drugs, less popular choice is slightly safer

Juicy past of favorite Okinawan fruit revealed

Anticipate a resurgence of respiratory viruses in young children

Anxiety, depression, burnout rising as college students prepare to return to campus

Goal-setting and positive parent-child relationships reduce risk of youth vaping

New research identifies cancer types with little survival improvements in adolescents and young adul

Oncotarget: Replication-stress sensitivity in breast cancer cells

Oncotarget: TERT and its binding protein: overexpression of GABPA/B in gliomas

Development of a novel technology to check body temperature with smartphone camera

The mechanics of puncture finally explained

Extreme heat, dry summers main cause of tree death in Colorado's subalpine forests

[Press-News.org] Babies know when you're faking
Infants can detect unjustified emotional reactions as early as 18 months, Concordia University researchers prove