Emotion recognition: The role of featural and configural face information

Bombari, Dario; Schmid, P.C.; Schmid Mast, M.; Birri, Sandra; Mast, Fred; Lobmaier, Janek (2013). Emotion recognition: The role of featural and configural face information. Quarterly journal of experimental psychology, 66(12), pp. 2426-2442. Psychology Press 10.1080/17470218.2013.789065

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Several studies investigated the role of featural and configural information when processing facial identity. A lot less is known about their contribution to emotion recognition. In this study, we addressed this issue by inducing either a featural or a configural processing strategy (Experiment 1) and by investigating the attentional strategies in response to emotional expressions (Experiment 2). In Experiment 1, participants identified emotional expressions in faces that were presented in three different versions (intact, blurred, and scrambled) and in two orientations (upright and inverted). Blurred faces contain mainly configural information, and scrambled faces contain mainly featural information. Inversion is known to selectively hinder configural processing. Analyses of the discriminability measure (A′) and response times (RTs) revealed that configural processing plays a more prominent role in expression recognition than featural processing, but their relative contribution varies depending on the emotion. In Experiment 2, we qualified these differences between emotions by investigating the relative importance of specific features by means of eye movements. Participants had to match intact expressions with the emotional cues that preceded the stimulus. The analysis of eye movements confirmed that the recognition of different emotions rely on different types of information. While the mouth is important for the detection of happiness and fear, the eyes are more relevant for anger, fear, and sadness.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Cognitive Psychology, Perception and Methodology
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Cognitive Psychology, Perception and Methodology > Biologische Psychologie (SNF)

UniBE Contributor:

Bombari, Dario; Mast, Fred and Lobmaier, Janek

Subjects:

100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology
000 Computer science, knowledge & systems

ISSN:

0272-4987

Publisher:

Psychology Press

Language:

English

Submitter:

Fred Mast

Date Deposited:

21 Mar 2014 17:21

Last Modified:

18 Aug 2017 10:52

Publisher DOI:

10.1080/17470218.2013.789065

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Emotion recognition, Facial expression, Featural processing, Configural processing, Eye movements

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.42724

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/42724

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