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Facial expressions modulate the ontogenetic trajectory of gaze-following among monkeys.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  20977562     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Process    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
Gaze-following, the tendency to direct one's attention to locations looked at by others, is a crucial aspect of social cognition in human and nonhuman primates. Whereas the development of gaze-following has been intensely studied in human infants, its early ontogeny in nonhuman primates has received little attention. Combining longitudinal and cross-sectional observational data from Barbary macaques at 'La Forêt des Singes', we show here that gaze-following among conspecifics develops within the first year of life with a rapid increase between 5 and 6 months, reaching adult levels at 1 year. Sex, rank, and relatedness of the animal whose gaze the subject followed did not affect gaze-following rates. Interestingly, however, the behavior was enhanced in all age classes if a gaze-cue was accompanied by a facial expression. Furthermore, the effect of facial expressions had a modulatory influence on the ontogenetic trajectory of gaze-following, suggesting that it is of functional significance in the development of the behavior. Follow-up analyses revealed that one specific facial expression that is given in response to social interactions between third parties was particularly efficient in eliciting gaze-following responses, indicating the importance of cues that are able to guide the acquisition of social information. Taken together, these results suggest that the development and the operation of gaze-following are tuned to the social and physical characteristics of a species' environment.
Authors:
Christoph Teufel; Anke Gutmann; Ralph Pirow; Julia Fischer
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Developmental science     Volume:  13     ISSN:  1467-7687     ISO Abbreviation:  Dev Sci     Publication Date:  2010 Nov 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-10-27     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9814574     Medline TA:  Dev Sci     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  913-22     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
© 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Affiliation:
Brain Mapping Unit, Behavioural and Clinical Neuroscience Institute, Department of Psychiatry, University of Cambridge, UK.
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