Social and emotional contexts predict the development of gaze following in early infancy: A SOCIAL-FIRST ACCOUNT of GAZE FOLLOWING

Kim Astor*, Marcus Lindskog, Linda Forssman, Ben Kenward, Mari Fransson, Alkistis Skalkidou, Anne Tharner, Juliëtte Cassé, Gustaf Gredebäck

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

The development of gaze following begins in early infancy and its developmental foundation has been under heavy debate. Using a longitudinal design (N = 118), we demonstrate that attachment quality predicts individual differences in the onset of gaze following, at six months of age, and that maternal postpartum depression predicts later gaze following, at 10 months. In addition, we report longitudinal stability in gaze following from 6 to 10 months. A full path model (using attachment, maternal depression and gaze following at six months) accounted for 21% of variance in gaze following at 10 months. These results suggest an experience-dependent development of gaze following, driven by the infant's own motivation to interact and engage with others (the social-first perspective).

Original languageEnglish
Article number1178
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalRoyal Society Open Science
Volume7
Issue number9
Early online date16 Sep 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2020

Keywords

  • attachment
  • gaze following
  • infant
  • longitudinal
  • maternal postpartum depression
  • social context

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