Discrimination and imitation of facial expression by neonates

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Science  08 Oct 1982:
Vol. 218, Issue 4568, pp. 179-181
DOI: 10.1126/science.7123230


Human neonates (average age, 36 hours) discriminated three facial expressions (happy, sad, and surprised) posed by a live model as evidenced by diminished visual fixation on each face over trials and renewed fixations to the presentation of a different face. The expressions posed by the model, unseeen by the observer, were guessed at greater than chance accuracy simply by observing the face of the neonate, whose facial movements in the brow, eyes, and mouth regions provided evidence for imitation of the facial expressions.

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