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Humans’ experience of emotion and comprehension of affective cues varies substantially across the lifespan. Work in cognitive and affective neuroscience has begun to characterize behavioral and neural responses to emotional cues that systematically change with age. This review examines work to date characterizing the maturation of facial expression comprehension, and dynamic changes in amygdala recruitment from early childhood through late adulthood while viewing facial expressions of emotion. Recent neuroimaging work has tested amygdala and prefrontal engagement in experimental paradigms mimicking real aspects of social interactions, which we highlight briefly, along with considerations for future research.


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Somerville, L. H., Fani, N., & McClure-Tone, E. B. (2011). Neural processing of emotional and social cues across the lifespan. Developmental Neuropsychology, 36(4), 408-428. DOI: 10.1080/87565641.2010.549865

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