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    No influence of emotional expression on size underestimation of upright faces

    Walsh, E. and Whitby, J. and Chen, Y.-Y. and Longo, Matthew (2024) No influence of emotional expression on size underestimation of upright faces. PLoS One , ISSN 1932-6203.

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    Faces are a primary means of conveying social information between humans. One important factor modulating the perception of human faces is emotional expression. Face inversion also affects perception, including judgments of emotional expression, possibly through the disruption of configural processing. One intriguing inversion effect is an illusion whereby faces appear to be physically smaller when upright than when inverted. This illusion appears to be highly selective for faces. In this study, we investigated whether the emotional expression of a face (neutral, happy, afraid, and angry) modulates the magnitude of this size illusion. Results showed that for all four expressions, there was a clear bias for inverted stimuli to be judged as larger than upright ones. This demonstrates that there is no influence of emotional expression on the size underestimation of upright faces, a surprising result given that recognition of different emotional expressions is known to be affected unevenly by inversion. Results are discussed considering recent neuroimaging research which used population receptive field (pRF) mapping to investigate the neural mechanisms underlying face perception features and which may provide an explanation for how an upright face appears smaller than an inverted one. Elucidation of this effect would lead to a greater understanding of how humans communicate.


    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Psychological Sciences
    Depositing User: Matthew Longo
    Date Deposited: 22 Feb 2024 14:26
    Last Modified: 22 Feb 2024 15:30


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