Size-invariant facial expression categorization and associated gaze allocation within social interaction space

Guo, Kun (2013) Size-invariant facial expression categorization and associated gaze allocation within social interaction space. In: 36th European Conference on Visual Perception 2013, 25 - 30 August, 2013, Bremen, Germany.

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Abstract

As faces often appear under very different viewing conditions (e.g., brightness, viewing angle or viewing distance), invariant facial information recognition is a key to our social interactions. Despite we would clearly benefit from differentiating different facial expressions (e.g., anger vs. happy) at a distance, there is surprisingly little research examining how expression categorization and associated gaze allocation is affected by viewing distance within the range of typical social space. In this study I systematically varied the size of faces displaying six basic facial expressions of emotion with varying intensities to mimic viewing distance ranging from arm-length to 5 meters, and employed a self-paced expression categorization task to measure participants' categorization performance and associated gaze patterns. Irrespective of the displayed expression and its intensity, the participants showed indistinguishable categorization accuracy and reaction time across the tested face sizes. Reducing face size decreased the number of fixations directed at the faces but increased individual fixation durations, and shifted gaze distribution from scanning all key internal facial features to mainly fixating at the central face region. Our results suggest size-invariant facial expression categorization behaviour within social interaction distance which could be linked to a holistic gaze strategy for extracting expressive facial cues.

Keywords:Face perception, facial expressions, Eye tracking
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C850 Cognitive Psychology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
ID Code:12086
Deposited On:08 Oct 2013 08:49

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