Functional consequences of perceiving facial expressions of emotion without awareness

Consciousness and Cognition 14 (3):565-584 (2005)
A substantial body of research has established that even when we are not consciously aware of the faces of others we are nevertheless sensitive to, and impacted by their facial expression. In this paper, we consider this body of research from a new perspective by examining the functions of unconscious perception revealed by these studies. A consideration of the literature from this perspective highlights that existing research methods are limited when it comes to revealing possible functions of unconscious perception. The critical shortcoming is that in all of the methods, the perceived facial expression remains outside of awareness. This is a problem because there are good reasons to believe that one important function of unconsciously perceived negative faces is to attract attention so that they are consciously perceived; such conscious perception, however, is never allowed with existing methodologies. We discuss recent studies of emotional face perception under conditions of visual search that address this issue directly. Further, we suggest that methodologies that do not examine cognitive processes as they occur in more natural settings may result in fundamental misunderstandings of human cognition
Keywords *Cognitive Processes  *Consciousness States  *Emotions  *Face Perception  *Visual Search  Awareness  Cognitions  Facial Expressions  Functional Analysis
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1016/j.concog.2005.01.001
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 23,651
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

View all 31 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

View all 7 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

38 ( #125,427 of 1,902,753 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

8 ( #110,919 of 1,902,753 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.