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Fashioning the face: sensorimotor simulation contributes to facial expression recognition

Wood, Adrienne, Rychlowska, Magdalena, Korb, Sebastian and Niedenthal, Paula 2016. Fashioning the face: sensorimotor simulation contributes to facial expression recognition. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 20 (3) , pp. 227-240. 10.1016/j.tics.2015.12.010

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When we observe a facial expression of emotion, we often mimic it. This automatic mimicry reflects underlying sensorimotor simulation that supports accurate emotion recognition. Why this is so is becoming more obvious: emotions are patterns of expressive, behavioral, physiological, and subjective feeling responses. Activation of one component can therefore automatically activate other components. When people simulate a perceived facial expression, they partially activate the corresponding emotional state in themselves, which provides a basis for inferring the underlying emotion of the expresser. We integrate recent evidence in favor of a role for sensorimotor simulation in emotion recognition. We then connect this account to a domain-general understanding of how sensory information from multiple modalities is integrated to generate perceptual predictions in the brain.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Publisher: Cell Press
ISSN: 1364-6613
Last Modified: 28 Jun 2019 03:30

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