Happy, sad, angry, scared: Some of us are good at hiding these everyday emotions, while others are unable to disguise them. Whether subtle or intense, facial expressions are the key to how we identify human emotion.
Most studies of how we recognize facial expressions have used static models of intense expressions. But new research indicates that facial motion—seeing the range of movement in the arching of an eyebrow or the curve of a smile—is in fact an extremely important part of what makes subtle facial expressions identifiable.
A recent study by Zara Ambadar and Jeffrey F. Cohn of the University of Pittsburgh and Jonathan W. Schooler of the University of British Columbia, examined how motion affects peoples judgment of subtle facial expressions. Their report, "Deciphering the Enigmatic Face: The Importance of Facial Dynamics in Interpreting Subtle Facial Expressions," is in the May 2005 issue of Psychological Science, a journal of the American Psychological Society.
Zara Ambadar | EurekAlert!
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