This study investigated developmental changes in infant responses to maternal still-face (SF) situations. Infants (21 males and 25 females) of Japanese mothers were observed in a face-to-face SF paradigm, comprising four phases (normal/SF/normal/SF), at two infant ages (4 and 9 months). The infants' facial expression, gaze direction, and vocalization were coded in both SF and normal interaction conditions. The results indicated that infants at both ages showed a decrease in displaying positive facial expression and gazing at their mothers during SF conditions. The 4-month-old displayed emotional expression and directed their gaze toward their mothers more frequently than the 9-month-old. However, the 9-month-old vocalized more often in SF situations, attempting to elicit responses from their mothers. The "carry-over" effect was observed only in 9-month-old. The results were discussed in the context of developmental changes in infants' social skills to cope with an emotionally stressful situation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas