Perceived emotional expressions of composite faces

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Kilpeläinen , M & Salmela , V 2020 , ' Perceived emotional expressions of composite faces ' , PLoS One , vol. 15 , no. 3 , 0230039 .

Title: Perceived emotional expressions of composite faces
Author: Kilpeläinen, Markku; Salmela, Viljami
Contributor organization: Department of Psychology and Logopedics
Perception Action Cognition
Date: 2020-03-10
Language: eng
Number of pages: 15
Belongs to series: PLoS One
ISSN: 1932-6203
Abstract: The eye and mouth regions serve as the primary sources of facial information regarding an individual's emotional state. The aim of this study was to provide a comprehensive assessment of the relative importance of those two information sources in the identification of different emotions. The stimuli were composite facial images, in which different expressions (Neutral, Anger, Disgust, Fear, Happiness, Contempt, and Surprise) were presented in the eyes and the mouth. Participants (21 women, 11 men, mean age 25 years) rated the expressions of 7 congruent and 42 incongruent composite faces by clicking on a point within the valence-arousal emotion space. Eye movements were also monitored. With most incongruent composite images, the perceived emotion corresponded to the expression of either the eye region or the mouth region or an average of those. The happy expression was different. Happy eyes often shifted the perceived emotion towards a slightly negative point in the valence-arousal space, not towards the location associated with a congruent happy expression. The eye-tracking data revealed significant effects of congruency, expressions and interaction on total dwell time. Our data indicate that whether a face that combines features from two emotional expressions leads to a percept based on only one of the expressions (categorical perception) or integration of the two expressions (dimensional perception), or something altogether different, strongly depends upon the expressions involved.
Subject: 515 Psychology
Peer reviewed: Yes
Rights: cc_by
Usage restriction: openAccess
Self-archived version: publishedVersion

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