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Authors: Thomas, Lea
Castell, Christoph von
Hecht, Heiko
Title: How facial masks alter the interaction of gaze direction, head orientation, and emotion recognition
Online publication date: 19-Oct-2022
Year of first publication: 2022
Language: english
Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic has altered the way we interact with each other: mandatory mask-wearing obscures facial information that is crucial for emotion recognition. Whereas the influence of wearing a mask on emotion recognition has been repeatedly investigated, little is known about the impact on interaction effects among emotional signals and other social signals. Therefore, the current study sought to explore how gaze direction, head orientation, and emotional expression interact with respect to emotion perception, and how these interactions are altered by wearing a face mask. In two online experiments, we presented face stimuli from the Radboud Faces Database displaying different facial expressions (anger, fear, happiness, neutral, and sadness), gaze directions (−13◦, 0◦, and 13◦), and head orientations (−45◦, 0◦, and 45◦) – either without (Experiment 1) or with mask (Experiment 2). Participants categorized the displayed emotional expressions. Not surprisingly, masks impaired emotion recognition. Surprisingly, without the mask, emotion recognition was unaffected by averted head orientations and only slightly affected by gaze direction. The mask strongly interfered with this ability. The mask increased the influence of head orientation and gaze direction, in particular for the emotions that were poorly recognized with mask. The results suggest that in case of uncertainty due to ambiguity or absence of signals, we seem to unconsciously factor in extraneous information.
DDC: 150 Psychologie
150 Psychology
Institution: Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Department: FB 02 Sozialwiss., Medien u. Sport
Place: Mainz
Version: Published version
Publication type: Zeitschriftenaufsatz
Document type specification: Scientific article
License: CC BY
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Journal: Frontiers in neuroscience
Pages or article number: 937939
Publisher: Frontiers Research Foundation
Publisher place: Lausanne
Issue date: 2022
ISSN: 1662-453X
Publisher DOI: 10.3389/fnins.2022.937939
Appears in collections:DFG-491381577-G

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