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Although there is a large amount of research examining the perception of emotional facial expressions, almost all of this research has focused on the perception of adult facial expressions. There are several excellent stimulus sets of adult facial expressions that can be easily obtained and used in scientific research, but there is no  stimulus set of child affective facial expressions. In order to fully understand how humans respond to and process affective facial expressions, it is important to have this understanding across a variety of means. The Child Affective Facial Expressions Set (CAFE) is the first large and representative set of children posing a variety of affective facial expressions that can be used for scientific research. The set is made up of nearly 1200 photographs of over 100 children  (ages 2-8) making 7 different facial expressions - happy, angry, sad, fearful, surprise, neutral, and disgust.

CAFE is now available to researchers for download on Databrary - a web-based data library for managing and sharing video data in the developmental and learning sciences. To access the set, register and become an authorized investigator, you can read more about how to do so here. To find the set, simply search for CAFE on Databrary, or use this link. Once you are authorized by your institution or your advisor who has been authorized, you will be able to download each face from the set individually or in bulk. Please address any specific questions about registering as a Databrary directly to (


When referencing the set, please use the following citation:

LoBue, V. & Thrasher, C. (2015). The Child Affective Facial Expression (CAFE) Set: Validity and reliability from untrained adults. Frontiers in Emotion Science, 5. PDF


Databrary is a video data library for developmental science. Share videos, audio files, and related metadata. Discover more, faster.



Cat Thrasher, Photographer

Based in Charlottesville, Virginia, Cat Thrasher has photographed hundreds of clients over the course of her photographic career.


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