Processing emotion information from both the face and body: An eye-movement study

Kerry Shields, Paul Engelhardt, Magdalena Ietswaart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


This study examined the perception of emotional expressions, focusing on the face and the body. Photographs of four actors expressing happiness, sadness, anger, and fear were presented in congruent (e.g. happy face with happy body) and incongruent (e.g. happy face with fearful body) combinations. Participants selected an emotional label using a four-option categorization task. Reaction times and accuracy for the categorization judgment, and eye movements were the dependent variables. Two regions of interest were examined: face and body. Results showed better accuracy and faster reaction times for congruent images compared to incongruent images. Eye movements showed an interaction in which there were more fixations and longer dwell times to the face and fewer fixations and shorter dwell times to the body with incongruent images. Thus, conflicting information produced a marked effect on information processing in which participants focused to a greater extent on the face compared to the body.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)699-709
JournalCognition & Emotion
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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