August 2016
Volume 16, Issue 12
Open Access
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   September 2016
The holistic processing of emotional faces in a single and multiple faces
Author Affiliations
  • Jisoo Sun
    Graduate Program in Cognitive Science, Yonsei University
  • Sang Chul Chong
    Graduate Program in Cognitive Science, Yonsei University
Journal of Vision September 2016, Vol.16, 730. doi:10.1167/16.12.730
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      Jisoo Sun, Sang Chul Chong; The holistic processing of emotional faces in a single and multiple faces. Journal of Vision 2016;16(12):730. doi: 10.1167/16.12.730.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract

Previous studies showed that people could discriminate facial expressions of emotions without accessing to parts of a face (Derntl, Seidel, Kainz, & Carbon, 2009), and also discriminate the mean emotion of a group without accessing to emotions of its members (Haberman & Whitney, 2007), indicative of the holistic processing of emotional faces. The current study investigated whether a single face and multiple faces share the same holistic processes using the face inversion effect, which is known to disrupt the holistic processing (Farah, Tanaka, & Drain, 1995). More specifically, we hypothesized that if emotion judgments of a face and mean emotion judgments of multiple faces share the same holistic processes, face inversion should disrupt both judgments to a similar extent. To test this hypothesis, we used the method of constant stimuli in an emotion discrimination task: An emotionally neutral face was presented in an upright orientation as a standard stimulus. Different degrees of happy or angry faces were shown as comparison stimuli, which could be a single face or four faces in an upright or inverted orientation depending on a block. In each trial, the standard and comparison stimuli were presented on each hemifield. Participants were asked to judge whether the comparison face(s) had a higher emotional intensity than the standard face. We found that the face inversion disrupted the intensity judgments of the emotions when a single comparison face was presented. However, the face inversion did not disrupt the intensity judgments of the emotions when the multiple faces were presented. These results suggest that the holistic processing of a single emotional face is different from that of multiple emotional faces.

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2016

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