Deciphering the enigmatic face: The importance of facial dynamics to interpreting subtle facial expressions

Zara Ambadar, J. Schooler, and Jeffrey Cohn
Psychological Science, , 2005


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Abstract
Most studies investigating the recognition of facial expressions have focused on static displays of intense expressions. Consequently, researchers may have underestimated the importance of motion in deciphering the subtle expressions that permeate real life situations. In two experiments, we examined the effect of motion on perception of subtle facial expressions and tested the hypotheses that Motion improves affect judgment by (1) providing denser sampling of the expression, (2) providing dynamic information, (3) facilitating configural processing, and (4) enhancing the perception of change. Participants viewed faces depicting subtle facial expressions in four modes (Single-Static, Multi-Static, Dynamic and First-Last). Experiment 1 demonstrated a robust effect of motion and suggested that it was due to the dynamic property of the sequence. Experiment 2 suggested that the beneficial effect of motion is due to its role in perception of change. Together these experiments demonstrated the importance of motion in identifying subtle facial expressions.

Notes
Associated Center(s) / Consortia: Vision and Autonomous Systems Center
Associated Lab(s) / Group(s): Face Group and Component Analysis
Associated Project(s): Facial Expression Analysis
Number of pages: 29

Text Reference
Zara Ambadar, J. Schooler, and Jeffrey Cohn, "Deciphering the enigmatic face: The importance of facial dynamics to interpreting subtle facial expressions," Psychological Science, , 2005

BibTeX Reference
@article{Ambadar_2005_5388,
   author = "Zara Ambadar and J. Schooler and Jeffrey Cohn",
   title = "Deciphering the enigmatic face: The importance of facial dynamics to interpreting subtle facial expressions",
   journal = "Psychological Science",
   year = "2005",
}