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dc.contributor.authorGer, Joseph Shawn
dc.identifier.citationSource: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 55-11, Section: B, page: 5094.
dc.description.abstractThis research examined neonatal responses to an adult modeling tongue protrusion and mouth opening. Eighty-three neonates (M = 46 hours) were videotaped while observing a female model who either presented a passive face or modeled tongue protrusion or mouth opening. Each condition was presented for a total of 160 seconds, divided into eight intervals of 20 seconds each, alternating between demonstration and response periods. Testing lasted 320 seconds (16 {dollar}\times{dollar} 20s) or 480 seconds (24 {dollar}\times{dollar} 20s), as subjects received two or three gesture conditions, depending on how long they remained reasonably alert. Neonatal full and partial tongue protrusions and mouth openings were coded continuously. Neonatal limb movement (as a measure of arousal) and degree of eye opening (as a measure of alertness) were coded at 4-second intervals.;Results show that neonates did not selectively imitate tongue protrusions or mouth openings presented to them by an adult model. It was further discovered that attentional processes influence neonatal responses to an adult modeling facial gestures. Findings demonstrate that neonatal alertness ratings were significantly higher during demonstration periods than during response periods. A third finding of this study is that highly alert neonates who were presented with tongue protrusion in the first condition produced significantly more tongue protrusion in demonstration periods than in response periods. This pattern of oral activity indicates a primitive form of mimicry which occurs immediately, is in direct temporal coupling with the demonstration period, and only occurs when highly alert neonates are exposed to tongue protrusions in the first condition. Findings from this study indicate that neonates are not selectively 'imitating' adult facial gestures and that neonatal reactions to adult facial gestures are influenced by visual perceptual and reflexive processes and not motivated by higher-order cognitive operations.
dc.publisherProQuest Dissertations & Theses
dc.subjectDevelopmental psychology.
dc.titleThe effects of attentional processes on gestural output in neonates

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