Constructing interaction: the development of gaze dynamics

Iris Nomikou, Giuseppe Leonardi, Katharina Rohlfing, Joanna Rączaszek-Leonardi

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Gaze is one of the first and most important means of communication and coordination in parent–infant dyads. In the present paper we used a novel method, designed to discover patterns in time-series, to investigate the dynamics of gaze in dyads and its developmental change. Using a longitudinal corpus of natural interactions, mutual mother–infant gaze was coded when the infants were 3, 6, and 8 months old and subjected to recurrence analysis. The cross-recurrence profiles obtained for the three time points show systematic differences: While the engagement in mutual gaze decreases with age, the behaviour becomes more tightly coupled as a more regular temporal structure emerges. We suggest that this stronger interdependency of gaze behaviour may indicate the development of a social feedback loop enabling engagement in interaction.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)277-295
JournalInfant and Child Development
Issue number3
Early online date11 May 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2016


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