Recent application of theories of embodied or grounded cognition to the recognition and interpretation of facial expression of emotion has led to an explosion of research in psychology and the neurosciences. However, despite the accelerating number of reported findings, it remains unclear how the many component processes of emotion and their neural mechanisms actually support embodied simulation. Equally unclear is what triggers the use of embodied simulation versus perceptual or conceptual strategies in determining meaning. The present article integrates behavioral research (...) from social psychology with recent research in neurosciences in order to provide coherence to the extant and future research on this topic. The roles of several of the brain's reward systems, and the amygdala, somatosensory cortices, and motor centers are examined. These are then linked to behavioral and brain research on facial mimicry and eye gaze. Articulation of the mediators and moderators of facial mimicry and gaze are particularly useful in guiding interpretation of relevant findings from neurosciences. Finally, a model of the processing of the smile, the most complex of the facial expressions, is presented as a means to illustrate how to advance the application of theories of embodied cognition in the study of facial expression of emotion. (shrink)
According to the age-of-acquisition hypothesis, words acquired early in life are processed faster and more accurately than words acquired later. Connectionist models have begun to explore the influence of the age/order of acquisition of items (and also their frequency of encounter). This study attempts to reconcile two different methodological and theoretical approaches (proposed by Lambon Ralph & Ehsan, 2006 and Zevin & Seidenberg, 2002) to age-limited learning effects. The current simulations extend the findings reported by Zevin and Seidenberg (2002) that (...) have shown that frequency trajectories (FTs) have limited and specific effects on word-reading tasks. Using the methodological framework proposed by Lambon Ralph and Ehsan (2006), which makes it possible to compare word-reading and picture-naming tasks in connectionist networks, we were able to show that FT has a considerable influence on age-limited learning effects in a picture naming task. The findings show that when the input–output mappings are arbitrary (simulating picture naming tasks), the links formed by the network become entrenched as a result of early experience and that subsequent variations in frequency of exposure of the items have only a minor impact. In contrast, when the mappings between input-output are quasi-systematic or systematic (simulating word-reading tasks), the training of new items was generalized and resulted in the suppression of age-limited learning effects. At a theoretical level, we suggest that FT, which simultaneously takes account of time and the level of exposure across time, represents a more precise and modulated measure compared with the order of introduction of the items and may lead to innovative hypotheses in the field of age-limited learning effects. (shrink)
Niedenthal et al. discuss the importance of eye gaze in embodied simulation and, more globally, in the processing of emotional visual stimulation (such as facial expression). In this commentary, we illustrate the relationship between oriented eye movements, consciousness, and emotion by using the case of severely brain-injured patients recovering from coma (i.e., vegetative and minimally conscious patients).
ABSTRACTRecent research suggests that obedience in the Milgram paradigm is underpinned by stress vulnerability and inhibitory control over pain sharing. Because self-regulatory fatigue induction is a suited method to investigate the influence of inhibitory control on behaviour, participants were randomly assigned to a High vs. Low self-regulatory condition. Heart rate variability was collected during 5-min baseline and continuously during the experimental procedure. Prior to the experiment, participants completed an online survey assessing right-wing authoritarianism, a well-known predictor of obedience. Using the (...) Immersive Video Milgram Obedience Experiment, we found that lower resting HRV predicted higher destructive obedience, that low self-regulatory inhibition reduced destructive obedience, that the well-established influence of RWA on destructive obedience was suppressed in the presence of SRF. Implic... (shrink)
The set of 30 stimulating commentaries on our target article helps to define the areas of our initial position that should be reiterated or else made clearer and, more importantly, the ways in which moderators of and extensions to the SIMS can be imagined. In our response, we divide the areas of discussion into (1) a clarification of our meaning of (2) a consideration of our proposed categories of smiles, (3) a reminder about the role of top-down processes in the (...) interpretation of smile meaning in SIMS, (4) an evaluation of the role of eye contact in the interpretation of facial expression of emotion, and (5) an assessment of the possible moderators of the core SIMS model. We end with an appreciation of the proposed extensions to the model, and note that the future of research on the problem of the smile appears to us to be assured. (shrink)
This paper explores the impact of group affiliation with respect to the on-line processing and appreciation of jokes, using facial electromyography activity and offline evaluations as dependent measures. Two experiments were conducted in which group affiliation varied between the participant and each of two independent speakers whose described political profiles were distinguished through one word: “Right” versus “Left.” Experiment 1 showed that jokes were more highly evaluated and that associated EMG activity was more intense when it was later determined that (...) the speaker was a member of the listener’s ingroup rather than outgroup. In an effort to determine whether these parochial effects can be isolated to ingroup favoritism as opposed to outgroup derogation, Experiment 2 paired a joke-teller described as politically active with one who was described as politically neutral. These more subtle comparisons suggest that the parochial effects observed in our joke understanding paradigm are mediated, at least in part, by the presence of an outgroup member. (shrink)
We argue that Schilbach et al. have neglected an important part of the social neuroscience literature involving participants in social interactions. We also clarify some part of the models the authors discussed superficially. We finally propose that social neuroscience should take into consideration the effect of being observed and the complexity of the task as potentially influencing factors.
Previous studies have shown that the human visual system can detect a face and elicit a saccadic eye movement toward it very efficiently compared to other categories of visual stimuli. In the first experiment, we tested the influence of facial expressions on fast face detection using a saccadic choice task. Face‐vehicle pairs were simultaneously presented and participants were asked to saccade toward the target (the face or the vehicle). We observed that saccades toward faces were initiated faster, and more often (...) in the correct direction, than saccades toward vehicles, regardless of the facial expressions (happy, fearful, or neutral). We also observed that saccade endpoints on face images were lower when the face was happy and higher when it was neutral. In the second experiment, we explicitly tested the detection of facial expressions. We used a saccadic choice task with emotional‐neutral pairs of faces and participants were asked to saccade toward the emotional (happy or fearful) or the neutral face. Participants were faster when they were asked to saccade toward the emotional face. They also made fewer errors, especially when the emotional face was happy. Using computational modeling, we showed that this happy face advantage can, at least partly, be explained by perceptual factors. Also, saccade endpoints were lower when the target was happy than when it was fearful. Overall, we suggest that there is no automatic prioritization of emotional faces, at least for saccades with short latencies, but that salient local face features can automatically attract attention. (shrink)
Visual processing is thought to function in a coarse-to-fine manner. Low spatial frequencies, conveying coarse information, would be processed early to generate predictions. These LSF-based predictions would facilitate the further integration of high spatial frequencies, conveying fine details. The predictive role of LSF might be crucial in automatic face processing, where high performance could be explained by an accurate selection of clues in early processing. In the present study, we used a visual Mismatch Negativity paradigm by presenting an unfiltered face (...) as standard stimulus, and the same face filtered in LSF or HSF as deviant, to investigate the predictive role of LSF vs. HSF during automatic face processing. If LSF are critical for predictions, we hypothesize that LSF deviants would elicit less prediction error than HSF deviants. Results show that both LSF and HSF deviants elicited a mismatch response compared with their equivalent in an equiprobable sequence. However, in line with our hypothesis, LSF deviants evoke significantly reduced mismatch responses compared to HSF deviants, particularly at later stages. The difference in mismatch between HSF and LSF conditions involves posterior areas and right fusiform gyrus. Overall, our findings suggest a predictive role of LSF during automatic face processing and a critical involvement of HSF in the fusiform during the conscious detection of changes in faces. (shrink)