Infant responses to maternal still-face at 4 and 9 months

Yuko Yato*, Masatoshi Kawai, Koichi Negayama, Shunya Sogon, Kiyotaka Tomiwa, Hatsumi Yamamoto

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)570-577
Number of pages8
JournalInfant Behavior and Development
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Dec
Externally publishedYes


  • Developmental change
  • Japanese infants
  • Longitudinal study
  • Maternal still-face

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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