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Camille Saumure, Marie-Pier Plouffe-Demers, Daniel Fiset, Stéphanie Cormier, Dan Sun, Zhang Ye, Miriam Kunz, Caroline Blais; The impact of culture on visual strategies underlying the judgment of facial expressions of pain.. Journal of Vision 2018;18(10):1107. doi: 10.1167/18.10.1107.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Research has revealed that observers' ability to recognize basic facial emotions expressed by individuals of another ethnic group is poor (Elfenbein, & Ambady, 2002), and that culture modulates the visual strategies underlying the recognition of basic facial expressions (Jack et al., 2009; Jack, Caldara, Schyns, 2012; Jack et al., 2012). Although it has been suggested that pain expression has evolved in order to be easily detected (Williams, 2002), the impact of culture on the visual strategies underlying the recognition of pain facial expressions remains underexplored. In this experiment, Canadians (N=28) and Chinese (N=30) participants were tested with the Bubbles method (Gosselin & Schyns, 2001) to compare the facial features used to discriminate between two pain intensities. Stimuli consisted of 16 face avatars (2 identities x 2 ethnicities x 4 levels of intensity difference) created with FACEGen and FACSGen. The amount of facial information needed to reach an accuracy rate of 75% was higher for Chinese (M=93.3, SD=25.04) than for Canadian participants (M=47.2, SD=48.02) [t(44.3)=-4.63, p< 0.001], suggesting that it was harder for Chinese to discriminate among two pain intensities. Classification images representing the facial features used by participants were generated separately for Asian and Caucasian faces. Statistical thresholds were found using the cluster test from Stat4CI (Chauvin et al, 2005; Zcrit=3.0; k=667; p< 0.05). Canadians used the eyes, the wrinkles between the eyebrows and the nose wrinkles/upper lip area with both face ethnicities. Chinese used the eye area with Asian faces, but no facial area reached significance with Caucasian faces. Compared with Chinese participants, Canadians relied more on the nose wrinkles area (Zcrit=3.0; k=824; p< 0.025). Together, these results suggest that culture impacts the visual decoding of pain facial expressions
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2018
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