SATO Wataru Laboratory

Dynamic facial expressions of emotion induce representational momentum

(Yoshikawa, S. & Sato, W.: Cogn Affect Behav Neurosci)

Two experiments were conducted to explore whether representational momentum (RM) emerges in the perception of dynamic facial expression, and whether the velocity of change affects the size of the effect. Participants observed short morphing animations of facial expressions from neutral to one of the six basic emotions and immediately afterwards were asked to select the last images perceived.

The results of the experiments revealed that the RM effect emerged for dynamic facial expressions of emotion: The last images of dynamic stimuli that an observer perceived were of a facial configuration showing stronger emotional intensity than the image actually presented. The more velocity increased, the more the perceptual image of facial expression intensified.

This perceptual enhancement suggests that dynamic information facilitates shape processing in facial expression, which leads to the efficient detection of other people”Ēs emotional changes from their faces.

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