Study: Babies Can Tell Their Parents’ Mood At Six Months Old

Gabrielle Okun | Reporter

Babies can tell their parents’ mood at six months old, according to a study released Wednesday.

Babies can understand their parents’ moods based on responding differently to happy, sad, and neutral voices and images, according to a study published by PLOS One journal from research at the University of Geneva, the Daily Mail reported. Researchers analyzed the behavior with eye-tracking technology of 24 six-month-old babies at the Geneva BabyLab. The babies stared at a black screen with 20-second recordings of happy, angry, and neutral voices. The babies then stared at images for ten seconds of happy and angry expressions.

Researchers found that babies stared longer at the mouths of people with happy expressions and after hearing happy voices. Babies also stared longer at the mouths of an angry person after hearing happy voices. Babies did not act differently after hearing neutral or angry voices, according to ScienceDaily.

“Based on this study we can conclude six-month-old babies are able to recognise the emotion of happiness regardless of these auditory or visual physical characteristics,” said Amaya Palama, the researcher at the Laboratory of Sensorimotor and author of the study from the University of Geneva.

Researchers did not find a difference in response based on the gender of the babies, the study also noted.

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