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Careful, Frank: Communicating through Emotional Expressions (2-24 Months)

As adults, we do this all the time to obtain feedback from the world around us, but it’s fascinating to learn how early this skill develops. In fact, by watching adults’ facial expressions and listening to their tone of voice, babies as young as 10 months old can use emotional information to decide what to do.


Talking to Baby


Hornik, R., Risenhoover, N., & Gunnar, M. (1987). The effects of maternal positive, neutral, and negative affective communications on infant responses to new toys. Child Development, 58, 937-944.

Sorce, J. F., Emde, R. N., Campos, J., & Klinnert, M. D. (1985). Maternal emotional signaling: Its effect on the visual cliff behavior of 1-year-olds. Developmental Psychology, 21(1), 195-200.

Walden, T. A., & Ogan, T. A. (1988). The development of social referencing. Child Development, 59(5), 1230-1240.