Do infants associate spiders and snakes with fearful facial expressions?

Autor(en)
Stefanie Hoehl, Sabina Pauen
Abstrakt

Do infants preferentially learn to fear stimuli that represent an ancestral danger? This question was addressed using event-related brain potentials in 9-month-old infants (N = 38). In Experiment 1, infants saw fearful and neutral faces gazing towards spiders and flowers. Then spiders and flowers were presented again without faces. Infants responded with increased attention (signaled by the Negative central, Nc component) to stimuli associated with fear. In particular, spiders that were gaze-cued with a fearful as compared to a neutral expression elicited an increased Nc response. In Experiment 2, targets were snakes and fish. Snakes elicited increased Nc amplitude compared to fish irrespective of emotion condition. Results speak to the evolution-based fear relevance of spiders and snakes. Our findings provide partial support for social fear learning and preparedness theory (Experiment 1) and non-associative accounts of fear acquisition (Experiment 2). We conclude that both kinds of fear acquisition seem to play a role in early human development. (C) 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Organisation(en)
Externe Organisation(en)
Max-Planck-Institut für Kognitions- und Neurowissenschaften, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg
Journal
Evolution and Human Behavior
Band
38
Seiten
404-413
Anzahl der Seiten
10
ISSN
1090-5138
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2016.12.001
Publikationsdatum
05-2017
Peer-reviewed
Ja
ÖFOS 2012
Entwicklungspsychologie
Schlagwörter
Link zum Portal
https://ucris.univie.ac.at/portal/de/publications/do-infants-associate-spiders-and-snakes-with-fearful-facial-expressions(98e9c8be-d396-4af7-8a5f-21134f011dd7).html