Feelings like disappointment, embarrassment, irritation, resentment, anger, jealousy, and fear, instead of being bad news, are actually very clear moments that teach us where it is that we’re holding back. They teach us to perk up and lean in when we feel we’d rather collapse and back away. They’re like messengers that show us, with terrifying clarity, exactly where we’re stuck. This very moment is the perfect teacher, and, lucky for us, it’s with us wherever we are.
Oh my gosh thank you so much!! <3 I’ll try to answer to the best of my ability :D
When starting out with drawing expressions, we’re usually encouraged to observe the most obvious features of the face and make a note of how these behave in tandem with emotions. These features are most commonly the eyes, eyebrows and mouth. These three are considered the most communicative, and looking at visual representations such as smileys- we can confirm that they definitely communicate a whole lot with very little detail.
This is great for styles that don’t need much in terms of detail to communicate an emotion consistently. Such as very toony’ styles or minimalist styles.
However, if you work with semi-realism or even realism, the devil’s in the detail. Let’s talk more about these details.
So, Because tumblr resizes images these might be a little hard to get a good detailed look at. But I‘ll try to keep it to details we can actually pick up with the resized versions.
These are two stock images both depicting the “furious” tag on google. However, to me at least - it feels like one is communicating the emotion a lot more intensely than the other. Why? Let’s compare.
The man on the left is portrayed to be yelling at the phone. His mouth his own, his eyes slightly lidded. But his eyebrows are arched upwards. The lower eyelid is in a somewhat relaxed state, and sure - his mouth is open pretty wide, but he’s not tensing enough for it to affect anything but the local muscles around the lips much, aside from a slight crease from nose to lips. Additionally, his knuckles are not tense enough to communicate any sort of vice grip going on with the phone.
On the picture to the right however, we see plenty of tension going through the facial musculature. This includes a line drawn from the man’s nostril ( which are flared upward in a steep arch ) to the corner of his mouth (which point downward ). There’s plenty of creasing between the eyebrows, who are arch goes from right above the eye, near the nose bridge, and arches upward. The lower eyelids are scrunched up against the eyeball because of the tension going through his cheeks from supposedly yelling, and lines are drawn across the face to indicate this kind of squinting. Furthermore, notice the tension in his upper arm, the bicep is clearly defined due to the force that is going through the limb, making it feel like he’s about to throw his hand right at us.
Stylizing ( picking and choosing)
Naturally, the way you draw expressions have to be seamlessly incorporated with your style. This often means sorting the observations from real life and picking out the ones that suit your style best.
( yes hi, ignore the lopsided horns I’m working on it )
My way of drawing noses lends itself well to work with the nostrils and the line that crosses between the nostrils and jowls. I observe whether or not a nostril needs to flare in order to convey tension. During intense emotions our breathing may raise in rate and force, this can be displayed by the dilating of the nostrils, which in turn affects how visible the line from nostril-to-jowl is.
I also include a few choice lines under the eyes to get that “scrunched” up look when there’s enough tension going through the cheeks (this includes crows’ feet when applicable). On top of the facial wrinkling, I also pay attention to the rest of the body, pinning the shoulders to the character’s ears when they’re uptight, tilting their head when they’re sultry or sassy, or keeping their arms close to their body when they’re socially withdrawn. You can read more about this in my piece over on RedLineStation on idle posing: https://theredlinestation.tumblr.com/post/178975924328/idle-posing-idle-posing-seems-to-be-a-thing-most
Eyes/pupils and intense emotions It’s a common trope that with the intensity of anger, fear and in some cases disgust/discomfort - the pupil shrinks to give the character a much more pointed look. I abide by this concept as well. It allows me to bring the brightness in my eye-colours forward and draw the attention of the viewer to it.
If you’ve been on my blog, or watch me anywhere else, you may also know that i have a few characters who’s facial construction makes the minute details of wrinkling difficult to achieve without compromising the integrity of their construction ( in this case: Katla’s face being primarily covered in tough scales ).
This means his face only really scrunches up when there are external forces of certain character exerted against it.
This limits the intensity of emotions that his face can convey, which is why I try to rely more on his body-language when I work with emotionally intense compositions with him in it. But there are more ways to convey a mood through the character’s surroundings that you can use to enhance the mood that you put your viewer in when looking at your piece. Many of these coming down to “simple” composition rules.
EMOTIONALLY DRIVEN COMPOSITIONS
Setting the scene for your character’s emotions to come on full display is the most effective way to really convey their state of mind. Sometimes effective storytelling in the environment can even make use of intense emotional expression unnecessary.
^Notice here how the amount of empty space around the character conveys a sense of loneliness. The character’s got their back turned to us, they’re actively trying not to show the viewers how they’re feeling. The glass of wine on the table indicates an attempt at dulling whatever emotion they’re going through. The screen is on and showing something - which tells us that the character has gotten up in the middle of something to contemplate something by the windows. That their mind has trailed off and removed them from their task.
Another low light setting. We’re seeing the wineglass again, and now there’s also a pack of cigarettes visible on the shelf to the right of the composition. Now we’ve put the subject of their thoughtful behaviour on a focal point of the composition (the ring). Linking the viewer directly to the source of the character’s mood.
In this thumbnail, there’s an emotional distance between the three characters. We can determine that by simply looking at the actual distance between them in the image. The child is standing nearer the feminine figure to the left, who’s also physically touching him, indicating a bond between them. The third figure, while looking back to acknowledge the two are not as engaged in the emotional bond - as he stands far to the right, and thusly creates a rift between them. The great white void outside hints at us that the separated character is on his way out on a journey into the unknown and gives the whole image a somewhat dreamlike character, like a memory being recalled somehow.
What does diegetic mean, first and foremost? Diegetic means - something that exists within the universe of a narrative ( in this case, our drawing ). So what’s diegetic light? Diegetic light is the light present within your image, primarily in story-driven illustrations, where the source of the light is incorporated seamlessly into the scenery.
Like you probably know from film and television, the use of light in a scene can heavily affect the way it communicates emotions and atmosphere. Here are a few ways you can use light to convey such.
These two images are set in completely different situations. And with two different light settings.
In the first one, the light comes somewhat to the back and to the left of the characters. Lighting one of them up pretty moderately, while the other has light coming directly from the back, which means that the character itself will block the light with his own silhouette.
The picture on the right renders the character to be of much more terrifying character, why? Because he will be rendered in the dark, making him look more mysterious and dangerous as our minds fill in the blanks on what he could potentially look like. Couple this with an upward angle and you got yourself a character that looks like they’re towering over you.
The light setting on the left is much less spooky looking. The large character i still mostly covered in darkness, but now his right is lit up somewhat, removing a bit of the enigmatic vibe. While his companion is lit up pretty well, making him the emotional POV of this scene since we can clearly see his facial expression and body.
Depending on the intensity of light and dark in this scene, the final piece could either communicate a dangerous dance at the edge of danger, of which the story would be of one character teaching a monstrous character to dance. Or it could be a perfectly normal couple of which is trying to teach the clueless other how to waltz.
In this image, the light splits the character right down the middle. This can hint at the character feeling ambivalent about a subject of speculation, or dances morally between two alignments. All depending on the given scene and given a narrative.
Here, the character’s is lit with bright light from the back. This is used to give the character a sense of etherealness to them. Framing them as a savour figure of which the viewer is supposed to be drawn to.
This piece here uses light as a means to hint at the outcome of the struggle about to go down. As well as paint to the audience who we’re supposed to side with. The beast, like the first two compositions, is blocking the light out with its own body. Meaning that the only character receiving the light ( in this case, god rays ) - is the one upfront. We’re inclined to side with the character in the light, thusly he takes centre stage as the protagonist. Another tidbit that predetermines the outcome of the battle is the placement of the character’s heads.
The large serpent is obviously much larger than our protagonist, but by keeping its head close to the ground, thusly beneath our main character’s - we establish a sense of dominance between the two, of which the presenting character has the upper hand.
There’s a whole lot more to conveying emotions in an image. Things such as colour, character proximity and contrasting elements, but this should give you a start in some of the main concepts. You can study a lot of the meta-techniques by watching moves or television, or reading comics which features the emotional state of their characters front and centre.
It takes a bit of abstract capacity to really set up an image that truly works, but its trial and error for the most part, so there’s no excuse not to give it a shot.
I’m sure you ‘ll figure it out as long as you just keep practising while keeping these principles in mind.
I hope this was somehow helpful :) and sorry for the late answer.
Honestly, cliché happy scenes or subverted tragic scenes have probably made me cry more than actual tragic scenes, and so I just want everyone to know that if you want to write something emotional, you don’t necessarily have to break a reader/viewer’s heart, you can mend it too.
In a fully functional organism, an emotion has a very short life span. It is like a momentary ripple or wave on the surface of your Being. When you are not in your body, however, an emotion can survive inside you for days or weeks, or join with other emotions of a similar frequency that have merged and become the pain-body, a parasite that can live inside you for years, feed on your energy, lead to physical illness, and make your life miserable.
heyo got rent coming up and I’ve got just enough but I would kinda like to eat and stuff so if you’d like to help I take tips or venmo at totalspiffage you can buy my music or idk just have a good day for me and don’t worry about it!
Upset by something unpleasant? We have all been there. Fortunately,
it also passes. A new day, a new beginning. At least: if you have
restful REM sleep. Researchers at the Netherlands Institute for
Neuroscience discovered why you will be better able to bear tomorrow
what you are distressed about today. And why that can go wrong.
Siren of the brain
Something frightening or unpleasant does not go unnoticed. In our
brain, the so-called limbic circuit of cells and connections immediately
becomes active. First and foremost, such experiences activate the
amygdala. This nucleus of brain cells located deep in the brain can be
regarded as the siren of the brain: attention! In order for the brain to
function properly, the siren must also be switched off again. For this,
a restful REM sleep, the part of the sleep with the most vivid dreams,
turns out to be essential.
The researchers placed their participants in a MRI scanner in the
evening and presented a specific odor while they made them feel upset.
The brain scans showed how the amygdala became active. The participants
then spent the night in the sleep lab, while the activity of their
sleeping brain was measured with EEG, and the specific odor was
presented again on occasion. The next morning, the researchers tried to
upset their volunteers again, in exactly the same way as the night
before. But now they did not succeed so well in doing this. Brain
circuits had adapted overnight; the siren of the brain no longer went
off. The amygdala responded much less, especially in those who had had a
lot of restful REM sleep and where meanwhile exposed to the specific
However, among the participants were also people with restless REM
sleep. Things went surprisingly different for them. Brain circuits had
not adapted well overnight: the siren of the brain continued to sound
the next morning. And while the nocturnal exposure to the odor helped
people with restful REM sleep adapt, the same exposure only made things
worse for people with restless REM sleep.
Neuronal connections weaken and strengthen
During sleep, ‘memory traces’ of experiences from the past day are
spontaneously played back, like a movie. “Among all remnants of the day,
a specific memory trace can be activated by presenting the same odor as
the one that was present during the experience while awake. Meanwhile,
memory traces are adjusted during sleep: some connections between brain
cells are strengthened, others are weakened. Restless REM sleep disturbs
these nocturnal adjustments, which are essential for recovery and
adaptation to distress” says Rick Wassing, first author of the study.
The findings were published in the leading journal Current
Biology. The finding can be of great importance for about two-thirds of
all people with a mental disorder, as both restless REM sleep and a
hyperactive amygdala are the hallmarks of post-traumatic stress disorder
(PTSD), anxiety disorders, depression and insomnia. People with PTSD
carry their traumatic experience to the next day: people with an anxiety
disorder take their greatest fear with them, people with depression
their despair, and people with chronic insomnia their tension. Authors
Rick Wassing, Frans Schalkwijk and Eus van Someren
predict that treatment of restless REM sleep could transdiagnostically
help to process emotional memories overnight and give them a better
place in the brain.
In its beginning an emotion flies straight to its object. Love tends to cherish the loved object as hate tends to destroy the thing hated. Either emotion may be turned aside from its direct end. The emotion of love may seek and find material that is other than the directly loved one, but that is congenial and cognate through the emotion. Consult the poets, and we find that love finds its expression in rushing torrents, still pools, in the suspense that awaits a storm, a bird poised in flight, a remote star or the fickle moon. Nor is this material metaphorical in character, if by ‘metaphor’ is understood the result of any act of conscious comparison. Deliberate metaphor in poetry is recourse of mind when emotion does not saturate material. Verbal expression may take the form of metaphor, but behind the words lie an act of emotional identification, not an intellectual comparison.
John Dewey, from “The Act of Expression,” Art as Experience (Perigee, 2005)
Researchers discover the brain cells that make pain unpleasant
If you step on a tack, neurons in your brain will register two
things: that there’s a piercing physical sensation in your foot, and
that it’s not pleasant. Now, a team of scientists at Stanford University
has identified a bundle of brain cells in mice responsible for the
latter — that is, the negative emotions of pain.
Pain research has traditionally focused on the neurons and molecules at the frontline of pain perception — the cells in nerves that process stings, cuts,
burns and the like — and ultimately convey a physical threat message.
What Grégory Scherrer, PhD, assistant professor of anesthesiology and of neurosurgery, and Mark Schnitzer,
PhD, associate professor of biology and of applied physics, are
studying goes one step further. “We’re looking at what the brain makes
of that information,” Scherrer said. “While painful stimuli are detected
by nerves, this information doesn’t mean anything emotionally until it
reaches the brain, so we set out to find the cells in the brain that are
behind the unpleasantness of pain.”
Backed by animal-brain imaging and molecular testing, the researchers
have found an ensemble of cells in the amygdala, a region of the brain
classically associated with emotion and fear, that seems to specifically
function as an on-off switch for pain aversion. And although the
finding was made in mice, there’s reason to think it could one day serve
as a therapeutic target for human pain, since the mouse and human
amygdala aren’t so different in function. Researching this group of
cells could reveal a potential treatment for chronic pain, the
The idea is that patients suffer from the emotional unpleasantness of
pain, rather than pain sensation itself. If there’s a way to dull the
emotional hurt, rather than the physical sensation of pain, that could
be big for chronic pain patients.
A paper describing the results of the study was published in Science.
Scherrer and Mark Schnitzer, PhD, who is also a Howard Hughes Medical
Institute investigator, share senior authorship. Postdoctoral scholar
Gregory Corder, PhD and former graduate student Biafra Ahanonu, PhD, are
the co-lead authors.
Peeping at pain neurons
The amygdala seemed to the researchers a logical place to start,
since it’s a well-established hub for emotion in the brain. Within the
amygdala, they narrowed their search by looking for neurons in mice that
were active during brief pain stimulation — such as a drop of hot, but
not scalding, water applied to a paw. Neurons that are active express
more of a specific gene called c-Fos, and indeed, a sea of
c-Fos-expressing neurons flared after this stimulus.
“But that really only tells you that those neurons were active at
some point, and it’s not specific enough,” Scherrer said. “What we
wanted was to look at the neurons of freely moving animals.”
To observe the deep-seated wiring of a mouse’s brain, Scherrer
partnered with Schnitzer, who had developed a “miniscope” — a microscope
about the length of a small paper clip, which could be affixed to a
mouse’s head to record activity in its brain. They positioned the device
strategically to visualize the amygdala. The mouse, alive and well,
could stroll as it pleased, while the miniscope recorded calcium flux in
the neurons, a proxy for cell activity.
The scientists monitored the mouse brains with the microscope,
watched the mice detect something uncomfortable, observed the aversive
reactions and then checked which neurons were active. “With this setup,
we identified a set of neurons in the amygdala that selectively encodes
signals related to the emotional aspects of a painful experience,”
When the mice touched a drop of uncomfortably hot or cold water
(neither of which were severe enough to injure the mice), they withdrew,
signaling to the scientists that the rodents were not pleased. Upon
this withdrawal, the microscope’s recording showed a bundle of neurons
firing in the amygdala — specifically in the basolateral region —
suggesting that these neurons were specifically responsible for the
emotion of pain.
It was, however, still possible that this basolateral ensemble was
simply firing to relay general emotion, rather than the unpleasantness
of pain specifically. So, the researchers fed the mice sugar water — a
sweet treat known to bring joy to any mouse — and kept an eye on the
collection of neurons suspected to relay displeasure. As expected, those
neurons stayed silent.
“There’s also a difference between experiencing pain and experiencing
something annoying, so we further wanted to test if the amygdala
neurons active during pain were also associated with overall negative
emotion, rather than pain particularly,” Scherrer said.
What miffs a mouse? The same things that might bother a sibling: tiny
puffs of air to the face, an unappetizingly bitter taste or a very bad
smell. While bothering the mice, the researchers again monitored the
basolateral amygdala pain ensemble, and here, too, the neurons remained
Tracking the perception of pain
“After all of that, we concluded that this ensemble of neurons
selectively responds during pain,” Scherrer said. “But it still didn’t
fully demonstrate that they underpinned the emotional response.”
To investigate that question more deeply, the researchers set up a
walking track with three invisible lanes: On the far left was a cold
strip; on the right, a hot one; and in between the two was a temperate
middle ground. (For context, walking in the two outer lanes was
comparable to walking barefoot on pavement during winter or summer,
respectively — uncomfortable, but not permanently damaging.)
Normal mice that walked on the track gradually learned that the
middle lane was tolerable, while the outer two were unpleasant. But in a
select group of mice, the researchers temporarily disabled the bundle
of amygdala pain neurons thought to relay feelings of physical
discomfort. These mice — free of pain-incited unpleasantness — skittered
around the outer regions, undeterred by the extreme temperatures.
What’s intriguing about this, Scherrer said, was that these mice
weren’t bereft of physical feeling. “Pain was just no longer unpleasant
for them,” he said. The rodents could still feel and respond to physical
sensations, but the stimuli they once perceived as unpleasant (hot or
cold drops of water) were no longer bothersome. When exposed to a drop
of hot water, for example, the mice with a muted basolateral neural
ensemble would move their paw away from the dropper, signaling that they
felt the stimulus — but they would move their paw back to its original
position, something that normal mice did not do. This is a crucial part
of harnessing the ensemble as a tool in pain therapy, Scherrer said, as
an animal, or human, without the ability to physically feel anything at
all leaves them vulnerable to injury.
Long term, Scherrer aims to confirm that the function of the
basolateral ensemble in mice is the same as it is in people, and then
down the line, find a safe and effective way to silence the ensemble’s
function without interfering with other neurons.
“There’s really no good treatment for chronic pain in humans, and
that’s a major driver of the opioid epidemic,” Scherrer said. “But
you’ll notice, patients who take opioids for pain report that they can
still feel the sensation of pain but say it’s less bothersome — the
emotions of pain are different. Our big future hope is that the cells in
the basolateral ensemble could be a tactic to curb the ailment of pain
without causing addiction and thus, ideally, act as a possible
substitute for opioid treatment.”
Meditation absolutely helps with anger issues and emotional regulation in general. In a neuroscientific context, much of this occurs due to meditation’s effect both on the limbic system and on the prefrontal cortex.
The prefrontal cortex is our higher executive function. It is what tells us that we shouldn’t strangle the person at whom we are mad. It allows us to override our emotional urges. The limbic system is what activates during trauma and extreme emotional states, among other functions it has. Studies using brain imaging have shown interesting ways meditation impacts these areas.
So how does meditation help with anger issues?
What does it mean to be overwhelmed by an emotion? It means that you start using that emotion as a lens. You see yourself through that emotion. You see other people through that emotion. And you see the world through that emotion. When an emotion can distort your perception, it means you have been taken over by it. This is why we start saying and doing things we wouldn’t ordinarily–and often regret later on when we have calmed down.
Meditation practice facilitates a greater sense of self-awareness such that even when you are feeling an emotion intensely, you know that it is not a trustworthy lens upon which to orient your behaviors and thoughts. This brings us to point #2.
2. Enhanced emotional processing.
When something provokes a strong emotion in us, for example let us say anger in this context, one of two things happens. Either we feel the emotion and then it passes or we latch on to the emotion. Emotions are sticky things and this “latching” happens if we try to push the emotion away or if we fixate on the emotion. In both cases, the same thing is happening: the mind is tuning into the emotion.
When the mind tunes into an emotion, it creates a feedback loop. If you feel angry, the mind can start having angry thoughts. Angry thoughts makes the body feel angrier and so the anger intensifies. Then the mind’s angry thoughts intensify so you start perceiving events and people around you through that angry lens. Everything just makes you more mad. That loop can continue for some time.
Meditation helps to disrupt this feedback loop. Even though you may feel angry, you learn how to experience it without judging it as right or wrong. When you don’t judge the emotion, your mind doesn’t get stuck to it. By not allowing the mind to tune into the same frequency as the emotion, then the emotion has no fuel to keep it going. It is like depriving a flame of oxygen; eventually it dies out.
3. De-escalation of triggers.
There are some things that just push our buttons. Why those buttons are there is a topic for the next and final point. However, as a continuation from the previous point, meditation will also de-escalate your triggers. This means that things that used to really trouble you lose their power over you.
While before I mentioned how meditation helps you to no longer be controlled by your emotions and how it can help disrupt emotions that get lodged in you, meditation can also prevent emotions from getting stuck inside you in the first place.
As your self-awareness and emotional processing mature, you will better notice your changes in emotional states as they happen in the moment. Many of us don’t notice the signs of rising emotion until it is a full-blown experience or until we start experiencing the physiological symptoms of an emotion. Meditation allows us to be more tuned into our inner state and aware of changes as they happen.
Why is this helpful? Because it is very difficult to dislodge anger when you are already in a rage. But it is much easier to avoid getting into a rage in the first place. Why? When an emotion gets stuck inside you, it is because you have identified with it. Example: “I am angry.” And when we identify with something, we don’t want to let it go. If we can notice the rising of an emotion, we realize it isn’t us. It is just another passing experience. You were here before the emotion, you are here during the emotion, and you are here after the emotion. What comes and goes is not you; it is just an experience.
Therefore, when you can notice the way you react to triggers, you can actually be present and allow your reactions to come and go without feeding into them. It also means it is more difficult for your reactions to overwhelm you.
4. Digestion of conditioned emotional imprints.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, meditation helps you to digest your conditioning and emotional imprints. This is our “baggage” that we have been carrying with us.
A chronically angry person is not angry all the time. But that anger is just beneath the surface, ready to come out at a moment’s notice. The moment an angry person is given a good excuse to be angry, they will unleash it. Eckhart Tolle calls this phenomenon the “pain body,” which I think is a helpful concept.
The pain body is the accumulation of all our negative past emotional imprints and our conditioned responses. Some people have a pain body that is always ready to explode, others have a pain body buried deep inside. Either way, if we want to be free from our past, at ease in the present, and truly open to the future, we must digest the imprints that comprise the pain body.
This is the effect of long-term meditation practice. This is the essence of self-work and healing. And this is the best service you can render the world: freeing the world from your own ignorance, your tendency to inflict your suffering upon other people.
The effects that I have described in points 1-4 tend to occur in that order when you undertake meditation practice.
First you develop the self-awareness to feel your emotions without dancing to their tunes, without allowing your emotions to obscure and intoxicate your perspective. Then you learn how to disrupt the feedback loops when you are overtaken by intense states of emotion. You essentially learn how to choose peace over emotional angst. After that, your awareness matures to the extent that you can allow emotions to come and go without deluding, confusing, or otherwise getting stuck in you. And lastly, once you stop being so challenged by your emotions in the present moment, you start to digest all the wounds, imprints, and baggage from the past.
All of this more or less happens at once but you will likely notice these effects in that order.
Start your meditation practice and let me know how it goes for you. :)
When I’m down, I like to listen to sad songs. Some might say that just makes things worse, but it definitely helps me. I need something to help me let my pain and sadness out. Songs help put my emotions into words.
Mother's behavioral corrections tune infant's brain to angry tone
The same brain network that adults use when they hear angry
vocalizations is at work in infants as young as six months old, an
effect that is strongest in infants whose mothers spend the most time
controlling their behavior, according to a new study in the open-access
journal PLOS ONE by Chen Zhao of the University of Manchester,
UK, and colleagues. The study indicates that the network recruited in
adult vocal emotion processing is up and running quite early in life,
and that its sensitivity to anger is partly a result of maternal
It has been recognized for generations that infants can distinguish
the emotional content of their mothers’ voices long before they
understand words, based on intonation, tone, rhythm, and other elements.
In adults, that emotional content is processed in the frontal and
temporal lobes. Brain imaging studies in infants have been performed,
but the noise of an MRI machine has made analysis of response to sounds
In the current study, the authors overcame that limitation by using
functional near infrared spectroscopy, a silent, noninvasive method that
measures blood flow to cortical areas, while infants sat in their
mothers’ laps and listened to recorded non-speech vocalizations that
were angry, happy, or neutral in emotionality. Separately, the team also
observed the same mother-infant pairs during floor play, quantifying
the mother’s interactions in terms of both sensitivity to infant
behavior as it changed, and directiveness, or the degree to which the
mother sought to control the infant’s behavior.
They found that both angry and happy vocalizations activated the
fronto-cortical network, and the level of activation in response to
anger was greater for those infants whose mothers were more directive in
their interactions. The results suggest that greater experience with
directive caregiving, or the stress it produces, heightens the infant
brain’s ability to detect and respond to angry vocalizations.
Zhao adds: “Brain science shows that babies’ brains are sensitive to
different emotional tones they hear in voices. Such tones can cause
different activation patterns in the infant’s brain areas which are also
known to be involved in processing voices in adults and older children.
These patterns also reveal that the early care experienced by babies
can influence brain responses so that the more intrusive and demanding
their mother, the stronger the brain response of these 6-month-olds is
to hearing angry voices.”