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Cross-emotion facial expression aftereffects

Pell, Philip J. and Richards, Anne (2011) Cross-emotion facial expression aftereffects. Vision Research 51 (7), pp. 1889-1896. ISSN 0042-6989.

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Increasing evidence suggests that the visual representations of different emotional facial expressions overlap. Here we used an adaptation paradigm to investigate overlap of anger, disgust and fear expressions. In Experiment 1, participants categorized faces morphed from neutral to anger or neutral to disgust after adaptation to expressions of anger, disgust, and fear. Adaptation to expressions of both anger and disgust was found to bias perception of anger expressions away from anger. For disgust expressions, adaptation to disgust biased perception away from disgust, whereas fear adaptation biased perception towards disgust. Adaptation to anger had no measurable effect. In Experiment 2, covering the mouth-region of the disgust adaptation face was found to severely diminish the disgust-anger aftereffect, whereas covering the nose- or eye-region had no effect. In Experiment 3, a substantial anger-anger aftereffect was found when the mouth-region of the anger face was covered; indicating that the results of Experiment 2 are not an artefact of the stimuli and procedures used. These results indicate that the visual representations of anger, disgust and fearful expressions overlap to a considerable degree. Furthermore, the nature of this overlap appears related to their communicative functions.

Item Type: Article
Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Adaptation aftereffects, facial expression, visual representation
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Science > Psychological Sciences
Depositing User: Administrator
Date Deposited: 18 Jul 2011 09:51
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2013 12:21

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