Chiara Maddalena Comparetti, Paola Ricciardelli, Roberta Daini

Features, emotions and non emotional facial expressions: A triple dissociation?

  • Abstract

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Keywords: face processing, emotion, facial expressions, non emotional facial expressions, facial features.

In the face processing models there is a dissociation between the recognition of emotional expressions and the recognition of personal identity. The aim of this study was to investigate a possible new dissociation for facial expressions, in particular between emotional facial expressions and non-emotional facial expressions i.e., expressions that don't have an affective meaning. To this end, the stimuli consisted of faces in which we selectively manipulated either the features, the emotional facial expressions, or the nonemotional facial expressions. Seventy eight students performed a same/different task and a change detection task on the stimuli in upright and inverted orientations. Each of the three different manipulations had a different impact on the inversion effect, suggesting a different modality to the processing of non-emotional facial expressions.

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