September 2015
Volume 15, Issue 12
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   September 2015
Author Affiliations
  • Monica Rosen
    Psychology, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • Tien Tong
    Psychology, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • Alex Enerson
    Psychology, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • Maital Neta
    Psychology, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • Michael Dodd
    Psychology, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Journal of Vision September 2015, Vol.15, 140. doi:
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      Monica Rosen, Tien Tong, Alex Enerson, Maital Neta, Michael Dodd; TIME SPENT FIXATED AT MOUTH IS RELATED TO MORE POSITVE INTERPRETATIONS OF AMBIGUITY IN SURPRISED FACES. Journal of Vision 2015;15(12):140. doi:

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

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The purpose of this study was to investigate the interactions between eye movements on valence ratings of intact, low-spatial frequency (LSF), and high-spatial frequency (HSF) filterations of emotional faces (surprised and fearful). Previous research has shown that LSFs are processed quickly and efficiently (Hughes et al., 1997; Bar et al., 2006) and they benefit processing of emotional expressions, whereas HSFs are processed more slowly and benefit facial identification (Aldora et. al, 2007; Winston, Vulleuier, & Dolan, 2003). Surprised faces tend to be more ambiguous in nature, with the likelihood that these faces will be viewed as positive or negative depends critically on whether the upper (e.g., eyes) or lower (e.g., mouth) half of the face is processed. For this reason, we hypothesized that individuals would be more likely to interpret surprise positively when fixating longer on the mouth. Participants rated intact, LSF, and HSF filtered images of surprised and fearful faces as either positive or negative while eye movements were being recorded. As predicted there was a significant difference between fixation patterns in the eyes and mouth for surprise versus fear. More importantly, longer fixation time on the mouth was associated with a more positive judgment bias for the LSF and HSF conditions. These findings suggest that valence bias may be driven, at least in part, by differential attention to lower region facial features.

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2015


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