Baby FaceReader

Since infants are unable to provide verbal feedback, their facial expressions are particularly insightful. Introducing Baby FaceReader, the software tool for automatic analysis of facial expressions of infants, using the Baby Facial Action Coding System (Baby FACS).

Baby FaceReader

Baby FaceReader can automatically measure facial expressions in infants ranging in age from 6 to 24 months old. Baby FaceReader is available as stand-alone product or in combination with the standard FaceReader software.

To gain accurate and reliable data about facial expressions, FaceReader is the most robust automated system that will help you out.

  • Clear insights into the effect of different stimuli on emotions

  • Very easy to use: save valuable time and resources

  • Easy integration with eye tracking data and physiology data


First & only tool to automatically measure emotions of infants

The facial expressions of babies are extremely useful in telling us more about their reactions. These expressions give important cues that allow us to better understand an infant’s behavior.

The software of Baby FaceReader uses the Baby FACS to describe specific movements of an infant's face. This way you no longer need to do the observation yourself, which saves you valuable time and resources.

Watch the animation to see what is possible with Baby FaceReader. It is the first and only software tool that offers these possibilities! 


Baby Facial Action Coding System (Baby FACS)


Infant faces are different from adult faces in that they are smaller, rounder, have a considerable amount of subcutaneous fat and elastic skin, and often have little to no eyebrows. Therefore, Baby FaceReader uses the Baby FACS to describe specific movements of an infant's face.

Baby FaceReader is ideally suited to study changes and stabilities in infants' facial expressions, as well as responses to taste, odor, and other sensory stimuli. In addition, Baby FaceReader can help analyze parent-child interactions, cognitive information processing, and expressive behavior occurring in naturalistic and experimental situations.


Detecting risk for developmental disorders

Baby FaceReader has been developed as a state-of-the-art system to automatically detect infant facial expressions. This tool helps to address questions in developmental psychology related to affect and developmental disorders, such as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Quantifying infants' facial expressions can assist studies in parent-child interaction and shed light on how we can achieve early detection of developmental disorders.

In this recording, you can see the capturing of valence and different Action Units, with the use of Baby FACS.


Baby Facial Action Coding System (Baby FACS)

Infant responses to food

Is your infant's food sweet or sour? Baby FaceReader has the answer - it makes it possible to identify infants' responses to tastes. For example, the taste of something sweet will result in a facial relaxation, indicating that the infant experienced the sweet taste as pleasant. In contrast, a non-sweet taste will involve certain facial muscle actions, indicating an unpleasant experience.

Action Units, as shown in the picture, provide an objective way of describing facial movement. This will help you answer your research questions.


Baby FaceReader is unobtrusive

Measuring infant facial expressions with Baby FaceReader is unobtrusive. The software captures a set of Action Units, head orientation, and whether valence is positive or negative. With the Project Analysis module, an add-on module for FaceReader, you can analyze the facial expressions of a group of participants and get advanced analysis of facial expression data. The Remote Photo-plethysmography (RPPG) module is available as an add-on as well. 

Would you like to learn more about Baby FaceReader, discuss further applications, or get our most up-to-date information on the software? Please contact us!



  • Maroulis, A.; Theuws, J.J.M. & Noldus, L.P.J.J. (2019). Validating Baby FaceReader to Analyze Infant Affective and Cognitive Responses. Poster Presentation AIMS-2-TRIALS Annual Meeting, 11-13 June 2019.
  • Oster, H. (2005). The repertoire of infant facial expressions: An ontogenetic perspective. Emotional development, 261-292.
  • Oster, H. (2016). Baby FACS: Facial Action Coding System for infants and young children. Unpublished monograph and coding manual. New York University.