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Sensors and Materials, Volume 23, Number 1 (2011)
Copyright(C) 2014 MYU K.K. All Rights Reserved.

pp. 87–94
S&M0828

Effect of Facial Expression of Mother on 15-21-Month-Old Infants Using Salivary Biomarker

Akiko Tange*, Megumi Mino, Kiyoshi Miyazawa, Kazuo Hiraki1, Syohji Itakura2 and Masaki Yamaguchi3

Unicharm Corporation, Japan
1Developmental Cognitive Neuro-Science, Cognitive Information Analysis, The University of Tokyo, Japan
2Department of Graduate School of Letters, Kyoto University, Japan
3Graduate School of Engineering, Iwate University, Japan

(Received June 8, 2010; accepted August 10, 2010)

Key words: infants, biomaker, salivary amylase activity, facial expression, stress

The objective of this study is to determine the possibility of evaluating stressful events such as facial expressions of mothers in linguistically incommunicable infants using salivary alpha-amylase (sAMY) activity. Eleven healthy Japanese infants between 15 and 21 months old were enrolled. Both a smile and grimace of their own mothers were shown to the subjects for 1 min as a stressor. sAMY activity in the infants was analyzed using a sAMY monitor before and after exposure to the stressors. Both facial expressions and behaviors of the subjects were recorded using a video camera and then the data were analyzed using a behavior coding system. Furthermore, the emotions of the subjects during the test period were subjectively evaluated by their mothers using a visual analogue scale (VAS). A significant correlation was observed between the mothers and the infants in terms of psychological state evaluated using the behavior coding system (p < 0.01, correlation coefficient (R) was 0.81). The sAMY activity during the grimace exposure was significantly higher than that during the smile exposure (p < 0.05). However, a correlation between VAS score and sAMY activity was observed (p < 0.05, R = -0.26). It was indicated that salivary biomarkers may be used for evaluating noninvasively the stressful events experienced by infants .

*Corresponding author: Akiko Tange

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Copyright(C)2014 MYU K.K. All Rights Reserved.