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Inverting natural facial expressions puzzles you

MPS-Authors
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Kaulard,  K
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;
Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Schultz,  J
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;
Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Bülthoff,  HH
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;
Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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de la Rosa,  S
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;
Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;
Project group: Cognitive Engineering, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Kaulard, K., Schultz, J., Wallraven, C., Bülthoff, H., & de la Rosa, S. (2012). Inverting natural facial expressions puzzles you. Poster presented at 35th European Conference on Visual Perception, Alghero, Italy.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0013-B64A-3
Abstract
The face inversion effect has often been demonstrated in face identification tasks. Less is known about whether processes underlying face expression recognition are also sensitive to face inversion. Face expression recognition is usually investigated using pictures of six emotional expressions. In everyday life, humans are however exposed to a much larger set of facial expressions, which are dynamic. Here, we examine the effect of face inversion on expression recognition for a variety of facial expressions displayed statically and dynamically. We measured participants'recognition accuracy for 12 expressions using a 13 alternative-forced-choice task. We varied the dynamics (videos versus pictures) and the orientation (upright versus inverted) of the presentation of the expressions in a completely crossed design. Accuracy was significantly higher when expressions were presented as videos (62) than as pictures (47). Similarly, recognition accuracy was significantly higher for upright (84) compared to inverted (64) expressions. Moreover, the effect of orientation changed significantly with expression type. No other effects were significant. This is the first study to report that face inversion affects the recognition of natural facial expressions. Because face inversion effects are interpreted as a sign of configural processing, our results suggest configural processing for a majority of facial expressions.