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The development of emotion recognition from facial expressions and non-linguistic vocalizations during childhood

The development of emotion recognition from facial expressions and non-linguistic vocalizations during childhood
The development of emotion recognition from facial expressions and non-linguistic vocalizations during childhood
Sensitivity to facial and vocal emotion is fundamental to children's social competence. Previous research has focused on children's facial emotion recognition, and few studies have investigated non-linguistic vocal emotion processing in childhood. We compared facial and vocal emotion recognition and processing biases in 4- to 11-year-olds and adults. Eighty-eight 4- to 11-year-olds and 21 adults participated. Participants viewed/listened to faces and voices (angry, happy, and sad) at three intensity levels (50%, 75%, and 100%). Non-linguistic tones were used. For each modality, participants completed an emotion identification task. Accuracy and bias for each emotion and modality were compared across 4- to 5-, 6- to 9- and 10- to 11-year-olds and adults. The results showed that children's emotion recognition improved with age; preschoolers were less accurate than other groups. Facial emotion recognition reached adult levels by 11 years, whereas vocal emotion recognition continued to develop in late childhood. Response bias decreased with age. For both modalities, sadness recognition was delayed across development relative to anger and happiness. The results demonstrate that developmental trajectories of emotion processing differ as a function of emotion type and stimulus modality. In addition, vocal emotion processing showed a more protracted developmental trajectory, compared to facial emotion processing. The results have important implications for programmes aiming to improve children's socio-emotional competence.
development, emotion, non-linguistic vocalizations, face
0261-510X
1-19
Chronaki, Georgia
3b00f885-0772-423f-ac68-a5f35b75993f
Hadwin, Julie
a364caf0-405a-42f3-a04c-4864817393ee
Garner, Matthew
3221c5b3-b951-4fec-b456-ec449e4ce072
Maurage, Pierre
d6522cf4-c7f3-4bc7-a166-76fd8aefbbb7
Sonuga-Barke, Edmund
bc80bf95-6cf9-4c76-a09d-eaaf0b717635
Chronaki, Georgia
3b00f885-0772-423f-ac68-a5f35b75993f
Hadwin, Julie
a364caf0-405a-42f3-a04c-4864817393ee
Garner, Matthew
3221c5b3-b951-4fec-b456-ec449e4ce072
Maurage, Pierre
d6522cf4-c7f3-4bc7-a166-76fd8aefbbb7
Sonuga-Barke, Edmund
bc80bf95-6cf9-4c76-a09d-eaaf0b717635

Chronaki, Georgia, Hadwin, Julie, Garner, Matthew, Maurage, Pierre and Sonuga-Barke, Edmund (2014) The development of emotion recognition from facial expressions and non-linguistic vocalizations during childhood. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 1-19. (doi:10.1111/bjdp.12075). (PMID:25492258)

Record type: Article

Abstract

Sensitivity to facial and vocal emotion is fundamental to children's social competence. Previous research has focused on children's facial emotion recognition, and few studies have investigated non-linguistic vocal emotion processing in childhood. We compared facial and vocal emotion recognition and processing biases in 4- to 11-year-olds and adults. Eighty-eight 4- to 11-year-olds and 21 adults participated. Participants viewed/listened to faces and voices (angry, happy, and sad) at three intensity levels (50%, 75%, and 100%). Non-linguistic tones were used. For each modality, participants completed an emotion identification task. Accuracy and bias for each emotion and modality were compared across 4- to 5-, 6- to 9- and 10- to 11-year-olds and adults. The results showed that children's emotion recognition improved with age; preschoolers were less accurate than other groups. Facial emotion recognition reached adult levels by 11 years, whereas vocal emotion recognition continued to develop in late childhood. Response bias decreased with age. For both modalities, sadness recognition was delayed across development relative to anger and happiness. The results demonstrate that developmental trajectories of emotion processing differ as a function of emotion type and stimulus modality. In addition, vocal emotion processing showed a more protracted developmental trajectory, compared to facial emotion processing. The results have important implications for programmes aiming to improve children's socio-emotional competence.

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More information

e-pub ahead of print date: 10 December 2014
Published date: 10 December 2014
Keywords: development, emotion, non-linguistic vocalizations, face
Organisations: Clinical Neuroscience

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 372718
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/372718
ISSN: 0261-510X
PURE UUID: 4606895f-c0ac-4820-8b04-7ba60011a537

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Date deposited: 17 Dec 2014 14:44
Last modified: 18 Jul 2019 14:19

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