The Tromso Infant Faces Database (TIF): development, validation and application to assess parenting experience on clarity and intensity ratings
AuthorMaack, Jana Kristin; Bohne, Agnes; Nordahl, Dag; Livsdatter, Lina; Lindahl, Åsne; Øvervoll, Morten; Wang, Catharina Elisabeth Arfwedson; Pfuhl, Gerit
Newborns and infants are highly depending on successfully communicating their needs; e.g., through crying and facial expressions. Although there is a growing interest in the mechanisms of and possible influences on the recognition of facial expressions in infants, heretofore there exists no validated database of emotional infant faces. In the present article we introduce a standardized and freely available face database containing Caucasian infant face images from 18 infants 4 to 12 months old. The development and validation of the Tromsø Infant Faces (TIF) database is presented in Study 1. Over 700 adults categorized the photographs by seven emotion categories (happy, sad, disgusted, angry, afraid, surprised, neutral) and rated intensity, clarity and their valance. In order to examine the relevance of TIF, we then present its first application in Study 2, investigating differences in emotion recognition across different stages of parenthood. We found a small gender effect in terms of women giving higher intensity and clarity ratings than men. Moreover, parents of young children rated the images as clearer than all the other groups, and parents rated “neutral” expressions as more clearly and more intense. Our results suggest that caretaking experience provides an implicit advantage in the processing of emotional expressions in infant faces, especially for the more difficult, ambiguous expressions.