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Andrew Mienaltowski, Brittany Groh, Dixi Secula, Allison Rinne, Connor Rogers; Impact of Expressive Intensity on Age Differences in Fear and Anger Detection in the Periphery. Journal of Vision 2018;18(10):568. doi: 10.1167/18.10.568.
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Age differences in emotion recognition are moderated by the salience of the emotion cues available on facial stimuli. Salience can be influenced by the discrete emotion expressed, the intensity of expression, and the location of the social target relative to the observer. The current study examined how expressive intensity influenced younger and older adults' ability to detect fear and anger in face stimuli presented in the observer's peripheral field of view. Younger (n = 39, ages 18-26) and older (n = 40, ages 62-79) adults observed either fearful and neutral or angry and neutral expressions presented at 5, 10, and 15 degrees from a centrally presented fixation point in the left and right visual field. Generally, emotion detection performance declined when stimuli were presented at greater distances into the periphery. For fearful expressions, both age groups displayed better performance for high than for low expressive intensity stimuli. Older adults, however, displayed larger emotion detection deficits than did younger adults for low intensity relative to high intensity expressions despite having longer stimulus durations. For angry expressions, both age groups displayed worse performance for stimuli presented further from the center of the display and for stimuli that were low in expressive intensity. The differential age effects observed in the current study across emotion can be accounted for by age differences in the regions of the face utilized for decoding emotion. Older adults may focus less on eye-related emotion cues than younger adults when evaluating emotion on peripherally presented facial stimuli if the cues are subtle.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2018
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