Recognition of facial expressions of emotions in school-age children: The intersection of perceptual and semantic categories

S. Vicari, J. S. Reilly, P. Pasqualetti, A. Vizzotto, C. Caltagirone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Recognition of the facial expressions of emotions is a critical communicative system early in development and continues to play an important role throughout adulthood. In the past, the results of developmental studies of emotional facial recognition have often conflicted. The present study was designed to examine the development of emotional facial recognition in a large sample of school-aged children (n = 120, ages 5-10y). In particular, we investigate whether emotion categories, i.e., those based on the visual spatial parameters of facial expression, develop in a similar fashion to those that also recruit lexical knowledge of emotion terms. We have found two distinct patterns of development and we suggest that these different profiles are a consequence of the very different cognitive abilities that they recruit. Conclusion: Emotion cognition is a variegated domain which is differentially related to such areas of cognition as visuo-spatial and lexical semantic abilities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)836-845
Number of pages10
JournalActa Paediatrica, International Journal of Paediatrics
Volume89
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2000

Keywords

  • Children
  • Emotions
  • Facial expression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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