In honoring Carroll Izard's contributions to emotion research, we discuss infant facial activity and emotion expression. We consider the debated issue of whether infants are biologically prepared to express specific emotions. We offer a perspective that potentially integrates differing viewpoints on infant facial expression of emotion. Specifically, we suggest that evolution has prepared infants with innate action readiness patterns, which are crucial for early infant-caregiver social interaction, and in the course of social interaction specific facial configurations acquire functional significance, becoming associated with specific emotions. Research has not confirmed the presence of innate neurophysiological action patterns that map onto discrete emotions but evidence indicates that the possibility has not been ruled out.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Psychology
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)