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Title: A smile biases the recognition of eye expressions: Configural projection from a salient mouth
Authors: Calvo, Manuel G.
Fernández Martín, Andrés 
Nummenmaa, Lauri
UNESCO Clasification: 610604 Análisis experimental de la conducta
Keywords: Configural
Facial expression
Saliency, et al
Issue Date: 2013
Journal: Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology 
Abstract: A smile is visually highly salient and grabs attention automatically. We investigated how extrafoveally seen smiles influence the viewers' perception of non-happy eyes in a face. A smiling mouth appeared in composite faces with incongruent non-happy (fearful, neutral, etc.) eyes, thus producing blended expressions, or it appeared in intact faces with genuine expressions. Attention to the eye region was spatially cued while foveal vision of the mouth was blocked by gaze-contingent masking. Participants judged whether the eyes were happy or not. Results indicated that the smile biased the evaluation of the eye expression: The same non-happy eyes were more likely to be judged as happy and categorized more slowly as not happy in a face with a smiling mouth than in a face with a non-smiling mouth or with no mouth. This bias occurred when the mouth and the eyes appeared simultaneously and aligned, but also to some extent when they were misaligned and when the mouth appeared after the eyes. We conclude that the highly salient smile projects to other facial regions, thus influencing the perception of the eye expression. Projection serves spatial and temporal integration of face parts and changes.
ISSN: 1747-0218
DOI: 10.1080/17470218.2012.732586
Source: Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology [ISSN 1747-0218], v. 66 (6), p. 1159-1181, (2013)
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