Happy faces are habituated more slowly by infants of depressed mothers

Maria Hernandez-Reif, Tiffany Field, Miguel Diego, Yanexy Vera, Jeff Pickens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Three-month-old infants of depressed (n = 16) and non-depressed mothers (n = 16) were habituated to video clips of a female model reciting phrases while posing happy or sad facial/vocal expressions and dishabituated to the alternate expressions. Overall, infants of depressed mothers took longer to habituate the video clips compared to infants of non-depressed mothers, and those assigned to habituate the sad video clips displayed a novelty response or dishabituated to the happy expressions. These findings suggest that 3-month-old infants of depressed mothers discriminate sad from happy expressions, however, they do not appear to perceive sad expressions as novel.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-135
Number of pages5
JournalInfant Behavior and Development
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2006


  • Depressed mothers
  • Facial expression
  • Habituation
  • Infants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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