July 2013
Volume 13, Issue 9
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   July 2013
Where do we look when we look for emotion? The influence of cognitive and affective primes on fixations to the face and body
Author Affiliations
  • Catherine Reed
    Psychology, Claremont McKenna College\nApplied Cognitive Psychology, Claremont Graduate University
  • Amanda Blattman
    Applied Cognitive Psychology, Claremont Graduate University
  • Rebekka Manzella
    Psychology, Pitzer College
  • Leigh Milne-Wright
    Psychology, Pitzer College
  • William Reed
    Psychology, Claremont McKenna College
  • Daniel McIntosh
    Psychology, University of Denver
Journal of Vision July 2013, Vol.13, 401. doi:https://doi.org/10.1167/13.9.401
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      Catherine Reed, Amanda Blattman, Rebekka Manzella, Leigh Milne-Wright, William Reed, Daniel McIntosh; Where do we look when we look for emotion? The influence of cognitive and affective primes on fixations to the face and body. Journal of Vision 2013;13(9):401. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/13.9.401.

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

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Recent research has shown that both the body and the face are used to convey emotions, threat, and actions. Further, the communication of specific emotions relies differentially on face or body information. In this study we investigated whether gaze behavior to the face or to the body could predict the endorsement of anger, fear, threat, and direction judgments. We compared gaze behavior in no prime, cognitive prime, and affective priming conditions to determine how much of gaze behavior is influenced by the stimuli themselves relative to what information people are seeking and their internal bodily states. Finally, to differentiate the relative contributions of the face and body to judgments, we examined male and female congruent emotional stimuli (fear face/fear body; anger face/anger body) with incongruent emotional stimuli (fear face/anger body; anger face/fear body). For all conditions, the behavioral rating data confirmed that both the face and body are important sources of emotion, threat, and direction information: the incongruent stimuli were rated at intermediate levels relative to the congruent stimuli: faces were weighted more strongly for emotion and threat judgments and bodies were weighted more strongly for direction judgments. Analysis of gaze behavior showed differential fixations, time in regions of interest, and first fixations depending on condition, the congruency of the face/body emotion, and type of judgment. Thus, the perception of others' emotion and directional intent appears to be affected by both physiological and cognitive components, as well as the emotional congruency of the stimulus. Interestingly, first fixations were often on the body, which may suggest a prioritization of emotion information in the body, potentially to determine if a fast threat response was required. The examination of eye movements suggests that where one looks influences emotion perception and subsequent behavior.

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2013


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