Angry faces are special too: evidence from the visual scanpath

Bate, Sarah and Haslam, Catherine and Hodgson, Timothy L. (2009) Angry faces are special too: evidence from the visual scanpath. Neuropsychology, 23 (5). pp. 658-667. ISSN 0894-4105

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Angry faces are special too: evidence from the visual scanpath
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Official URL: http://psycnet.apa.org/journals/neu/23/5/658/

Abstract

Traditional models of face processing posit independent pathways for the processing of facial identity and facial expression (e.g., Bruce & Young, 1986). However, such models have been questioned by recent reports that suggest positive expressions may facilitate recognition (e.g., Baudouin et al., 2000), although little attention has been paid to the role of negative expressions. The current study used eye movement indicators to examine the influence of emotional expression (angry, happy, neutral) on the
recognition of famous and novel faces. In line with previous research, the authors found some evidence
that only happy expressions facilitate the processing of famous faces. However, the processing of novel faces was enhanced by the presence of an angry expression. Contrary to previous findings, this paper suggests that angry expressions also have an important role in the recognition process, and that the influence of emotional expression is modulated by face familiarity. The implications of this finding are discussed in relation to (1) current models of face processing, and (2) theories of oculomotor control in
the viewing of facial stimuli.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Traditional models of face processing posit independent pathways for the processing of facial identity and facial expression (e.g., Bruce & Young, 1986). However, such models have been questioned by recent reports that suggest positive expressions may facilitate recognition (e.g., Baudouin et al., 2000), although little attention has been paid to the role of negative expressions. The current study used eye movement indicators to examine the influence of emotional expression (angry, happy, neutral) on the recognition of famous and novel faces. In line with previous research, the authors found some evidence that only happy expressions facilitate the processing of famous faces. However, the processing of novel faces was enhanced by the presence of an angry expression. Contrary to previous findings, this paper suggests that angry expressions also have an important role in the recognition process, and that the influence of emotional expression is modulated by face familiarity. The implications of this finding are discussed in relation to (1) current models of face processing, and (2) theories of oculomotor control in the viewing of facial stimuli.
Keywords:emotional expression, face recognition, eye movements, visual scanpath
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C800 Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C850 Cognitive Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C830 Experimental Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C860 Neuropsychology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
ID Code:4803
Deposited By: Alison Wilson
Deposited On:28 Nov 2011 18:22
Last Modified:13 Mar 2013 09:03

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