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Arnaud Leleu, Caroline Demily, Nicolas Franck, Karine Durand, Jean-Yves Baudouin, Benoist Schaal; Matching emotional expressions of faces within an olfactory context: Does my own feeling matter?. Journal of Vision 2014;14(10):1398. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/14.10.1398.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
The ability to recognize facial expressions may imply the matching between self-produced emotions and those perceived in others. To investigate this issue, we designed two experiments in which participants had to match the emotion expressed by a centrally-presented face with one of the expressions (anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness, neutral) displayed in smaller-sized lateral photographs. Three olfactory contexts (neutral, aversive, pleasant) were used to elicit various moods or feelings during the task. To evaluate whether the odorants modulate the detection thresholds of the expressions, morphs were made between neutrality and all other emotions (every 10%, from 0% to 100%), and the central face expressed the different intensities along these continua. In experiment 1, a perceptual task was performed with no indication on the expressed emotion. In experiment 2, the task combined perceptual and verbal information with corresponding emotions labeled under each lateral face. In both experiments, results indicated that happiness was detected at lower intensities with the pleasant odorant. The inverse bias (i.e., lower detection thresholds with the aversive odorant) was found for anger in experiment 1 and for disgust in experiment 2, presumably because anger was confounded with disgust when no labels were displayed. Interestingly, the overall number of intrusions (i.e., false recognitions) was enhanced with the pleasant odorant in experiment 1, suggesting that this odor reduced the perceived differences between the four categories of negative emotions when no verbal information was delivered. In experiment 2, intrusions for anger and disgust were modulated in opposite directions by the aversive odor (i.e., more intrusions for anger, less for disgust). Taken together, these findings indicate that the emotional correlates of odor perception can facilitate the detection of facial expressions with congruent hedonic value.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2014
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