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    Atypical emotion recognition from bodies is associated with perceptual difficulties in healthy aging

    Chard, James and Edey, Rosanna and Yon, Daniel and Murphy, J. and Bird, G. and Press, Clare (2019) Atypical emotion recognition from bodies is associated with perceptual difficulties in healthy aging. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance 45 (6), pp. 803-811. ISSN 0096-1523.

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    A range of processes are required for recognizing others’ affective states. It is particularly important that we process the perceptual cues providing information about these states. These experiments tested the hypothesis that difficulties with affective state identification in older adults (OAs) arise, at least partly, from deficits in perceptual processing. To this end we presented ‘point light display’ whole body stimuli to healthy OAs and comparison younger adults (YAs) in three signal detection experiments. We examined the ability of OAs to recognize visual bodily information – posture and kinematics – and whether impaired recognition of affective states can be explained by deficits in processing these cues. OAs exhibited reduced sensitivity to postural cues (Experiment 1) but not to kinematic cues (Experiment 2) in affectively-neutral stimuli. Importantly, they also exhibited reduced sensitivity only to affective states conveyed predominantly through posture (Experiment 3) – i.e., the cue they were impaired in perceiving. These findings highlight how affective state identification difficulties in OAs may arise from problems in perceptual processing, and demonstrate more widely how it is essential to consider the contribution of perceptual processes to emotion recognition.


    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Psychological Sciences
    Depositing User: Clare Press
    Date Deposited: 22 Jan 2019 11:40
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:47


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