On 11-15th October 2010, a Lisbon edition of the BabyFACS Workshop will be given by Dr. Harriet Oster at ISCTE-IUL. The four day intensive workshop dedicated to learning BabyFACS will begin with a lecture by Dr. Oster, on the afternoon of October 11, which will address Dr. Oster's studies on development issues and emotion expression. This lecture is for a broader audience and not restricted to workshop participants.
Dr. Harriet Oster is an expert researcher in Emotion and Developmental Psychology. She worked with Paul Ekman, the worldwide renowned researcher on facial expressions and author of the widely used instrument to study facial expression – the Facial Action Coding System (FACS) in 1978. Based on her ethological and anatomical studies, Dr. Oster, created the Baby Facial Action Coding System (BabyFACS) which is an adaptation of FACS that accommodates children’s anatomical specificities and is thus better suited to code the facial activity of infants and young children. Her research has mainly focused on the development of facial expressions and their role in social and emotional development. Her research addresses questions on the signal value of facial expressions, ontogeny of facial expression and emotional signaling, cross-cultural differences in babies emotional responses, and the perception of emotion in infant and adult facial expressions. Professor Oster is also a faculty member at the NYU Paul McGhee Division, where she has taught courses in Developmental Psychology, Laboratory in Developmental Psychology, Psychology of Emotion, Adult Development and Aging, Senior Project, Introduction to Psychology, and Special Topics in Psychology.
About BabyFACS: «Unlike coding systems that use templates based on prototypical adult expressions, Baby FACS makes it possible to describe infant facial expressions in terms of their constituent facial muscle actions, independent of prior assumptions about their correspondence to adult emotions. Therefore, it is possible to trace developmental changes and continuities in emotional expressions. Baby FACS is uniquely suited to studying facial behavior related to sensory, perceptual, and cognitive processes, social interaction, emotion, and emotion regulation. It is also uniquely suited to studying subtle individual and cultural differences in facial behavior in normative and atypical populations.» (H. Oster)In order to be able to code infant facial behavior using BabyFACS, Professor Oster strongly recommends that you are either an experienced FACS user, preferably a certified FACS coder, or are at least quite familiar and trained in using FACS.