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Facial feedback affects perceived intensity but not quality of emotional expressions

  • Motivated by conflicting evidence in the literature, we re-assessed the role of facial feedback when detecting quantitative or qualitative changes in others’ emotional expressions. Fifty-three healthy adults observed self-paced morph sequences where the emotional facial expression either changed quantitatively (i.e., sad-to-neutral, neutral-to-sad, happy-to-neutral, neutral-to-happy) or qualitatively (i.e. from sad to happy, or from happy to sad). Observers held a pen in their own mouth to induce smiling or frowning during the detection task. When morph sequences started or ended with neutral expressions we replicated a congruency effect: Happiness was perceived longer and sooner while smiling; sadness was perceived longer and sooner while frowning. Interestingly, no such congruency effects occurred for transitions between emotional expressions. These results suggest that facial feedback is especially useful when evaluating the intensity of a facial expression, but less so when we have to recognize which emotion our counterpart isMotivated by conflicting evidence in the literature, we re-assessed the role of facial feedback when detecting quantitative or qualitative changes in others’ emotional expressions. Fifty-three healthy adults observed self-paced morph sequences where the emotional facial expression either changed quantitatively (i.e., sad-to-neutral, neutral-to-sad, happy-to-neutral, neutral-to-happy) or qualitatively (i.e. from sad to happy, or from happy to sad). Observers held a pen in their own mouth to induce smiling or frowning during the detection task. When morph sequences started or ended with neutral expressions we replicated a congruency effect: Happiness was perceived longer and sooner while smiling; sadness was perceived longer and sooner while frowning. Interestingly, no such congruency effects occurred for transitions between emotional expressions. These results suggest that facial feedback is especially useful when evaluating the intensity of a facial expression, but less so when we have to recognize which emotion our counterpart is expressing.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Author:Janek S. Lobmaier, Martin H. FischerORCiDGND
URN:urn:nbn:de:kobv:517-opus4-400157
Series (Serial Number):Postprints der Universität Potsdam : Humanwissenschaftliche Reihe (335)
Document Type:Postprint
Language:English
Date of first Publication:2017/09/15
Year of Completion:2017
Publishing Institution:Universität Potsdam
Release Date:2017/09/15
Tag:embodied cognition; emotion recognition; emotional expression; face morphing; facial feedback
Pagenumber:12
Source:Brain Sciences 5 (2015) Nr. 3, S. 357–368. DOI: 10.3390/brainsci5030357
Organizational units:Humanwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Strukturbereich Kognitionswissenschaften
Dewey Decimal Classification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 57 Biowissenschaften; Biologie / 570 Biowissenschaften; Biologie
Peer Review:Referiert
Publication Way:Open Access
Grantor:Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI)
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung, 4.0 International