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From the eye to the heart: eye contact triggers emotion simulation

Rychlowska, Magdalena, Zinner, Leah, Musca, Serban C. and Niedenthal, Paula M. 2012. From the eye to the heart: eye contact triggers emotion simulation. Presented at: 14th ACM International Conference on Multimodal Interaction, Santa Monica, CA, 22-26 October 2012. Proceedings of the 4th Workshop on Eye Gaze in Intelligent Human Machine Interaction. New York, NY: 10.1145/2401836.2401841

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meanings. Recent literature suggests that deep processing of smiles via embodied simulation can be triggered by achieved eye contact. Three studies supported this prediction. In Study 1, participants rated the emotional impact of portraits, which varied in eye contact and smiling. Smiling portraits that achieved eye contact were more emotionally impactful than smiling portraits that did not achieve eye contact. In Study 2, participants saw photographs of smiles in which eye contact was manipulated. The same smile of the same individual caused more positive emotion and higher ratings of authenticity when eye contact was achieved than when it was not. In Study 3, participants’ facial EMG was recorded. Activity over the zygomatic major (i.e. smile) muscle was greater when participants observed smiles that achieved eye contact compared to smiles that did not. These results support the role of eye contact as a trigger of embodied simulation. Implications for human-machine interactions are discussed.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
ISBN: 9781450315166
Last Modified: 28 Jun 2019 03:31

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