SATO Wataru Laboratory

Enhanced subliminal emotional responses to dynamic facial expressions

(Sato*, Kubota*, & Toichi (* equal contributors): Front Psychol)

Emotional processing without conscious awareness plays an important role in human social interaction.
Several behavioral studies reported that subliminal presentation of photographs of emotional facial expressions induces unconscious emotional processing.
However, it was difficult to elicit strong and robust effects using this method.
We hypothesized that dynamic presentations of facial expressions would enhance subliminal emotional effects and tested this hypothesis with two experiments.

Fearful or happy facial expressions were presented dynamically or statically in either the left or the right visual field for 20 (Experiment 1) and 30 (Experiment 2) ms.
Nonsense target ideographs were then presented, and participants reported their preference for them.

The results consistently showed that dynamic presentations of emotional facial expressions induced more evident emotional biases toward subsequent targets than did static ones.

These results indicate that dynamic presentations of emotional facial expressions induce more evident unconscious emotional processing.

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