A Smile Enhances 3-Month-Olds' Recognition of an Individual Face

Chiara Turati, Rosario Montirosso, Viola Brenna, Veronica Ferrara, Renato Borgatti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recent studies demonstrated that in adults and children recognition of face identity and facial expression mutually interact (Bate, Haslam, & Hodgson, 2009; Spangler, Schwarzer, Korell, & Maier-Karius, 2010). Here, using a familiarization paradigm, we explored the relation between these processes in early infancy, investigating whether 3-month-old infants' ability to recognize an individual face is affected by the positive (happiness) or neutral emotional expression displayed. Results indicated that infants' face recognition appears enhanced when faces display a happy emotional expression, suggesting the presence of a mutual interaction between face identity and emotion recognition as early as 3months of age.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)306-317
Number of pages12
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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