What is it about?

Macaque monkeys, like humans, are highly social and engage in complex facial interactions with infants in the days following birth. In two studies we observed these mother-infant interactions. Infants monkeys who have more face-to-face interactions with caretakers develop to be more social later on. Neonatal facial communication may support infants' early social skills and interest, enabling them to be more social later.

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Why is it important?

Facial interactions from birth appear to promote young primate social interest and competency. Similar processes may occur in humans as well, and highlight the importance of social engagement in the first week following birth.

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This page is a summary of: Neonatal face-to-face interactions promote later social behaviour in infant rhesus monkeys, Nature Communications, June 2016, Nature, DOI: 10.1038/ncomms11940.
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