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Evolution of Emotional CommunicationFrom Sounds in Nonhuman Mammals to Speech and Music in Man$
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Eckart Altenmüller, Sabine Schmidt, and Elke Zimmermann

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199583560

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199583560.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 29 November 2020

Infant crying and the synchrony of arousal

Infant crying and the synchrony of arousal

Chapter:
(p.155) Chapter 10 Infant crying and the synchrony of arousal
Source:
Evolution of Emotional Communication
Author(s):

Philip Sanford Zeskind

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199583560.003.0010

The communicative and emotional significance of the cry of the newborn and young infant is examined within a conceptual framework that focuses on a synchrony of arousal between infant and caregiver behavioral systems. Support for four basic elements of this framework are presented: (1) Infant crying results from changes in neurobehavioral mechanisms that produce nonspecific changes in the intensity of infant arousal; (2) Changes in the intensity of infant arousal are reflected in a graded and dynamic acoustic signal; (3) This graded signal affects the intensity of the arousal system of the caregiver in a synchronous, graded manner and (4) Specific responses to the cry are mediated by the receiver’s subjective affective state. The elements are further illustrated by examining responses to an unusually high-pitched cry sound found in infants at risk for physical child abuse. The significance of this conceptual framework for development and evolutionary models is considered.

Keywords:   infant crying, caregivers, synchrony of arousal, conceptual framework, neurobehavior, adult perceptions, acoustic characteristics, child abuse

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