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Similar Representations of Emotions Across Faces and Voices

Kuhn, LK; Wydell, T; Lavan, N; McGettigan, C; Garrido, L; (2017) Similar Representations of Emotions Across Faces and Voices. Emotion , 17 (6) pp. 912-937. 10.1037/emo0000282. Green open access

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Abstract

Emotions are a vital component of social communication, carried across a range of modalities and via different perceptual signals such as specific muscle contractions in the face and in the upper respiratory system. Previous studies have found that emotion recognition impairments after brain damage depend on the modality of presentation: recognition from faces may be impaired whereas recognition from voices remains preserved, and vice versa. On the other hand, there is also evidence for shared neural activation during emotion processing in both modalities. In a behavioral study, we investigated whether there are shared representations in the recognition of emotions from faces and voices. We used a within-subjects design in which participants rated the intensity of facial expressions and nonverbal vocalizations for each of the 6 basic emotion labels. For each participant and each modality, we then computed a representation matrix with the intensity ratings of each emotion. These matrices allowed us to examine the patterns of confusions between emotions and to characterize the representations of emotions within each modality. We then compared the representations across modalities by computing the correlations of the representation matrices across faces and voices. We found highly correlated matrices across modalities, which suggest similar representations of emotions across faces and voices. We also showed that these results could not be explained by commonalities between low-level visual and acoustic properties of the stimuli. We thus propose that there are similar or shared coding mechanisms for emotions which may act independently of modality, despite their distinct perceptual inputs.

Type: Article
Title: Similar Representations of Emotions Across Faces and Voices
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1037/emo0000282
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1037/emo0000282
Language: English
Additional information: This article has been published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Copyright for this article is retained by the author(s). Author(s) grant(s) the American Psychological Association the exclusive right to publish the article and identify itself as the original publisher.
Keywords: Social Sciences, Psychology, Experimental, Psychology, emotion recognition, faces, modality, similar representations, voices, SUPERIOR TEMPORAL SULCUS, FACIAL EXPRESSIONS, NEURAL REPRESENTATIONS, HUNTINGTONS-DISEASE, VOCAL EXPRESSIONS, RECOGNITION, AMYGDALA, FEAR, VOCALIZATIONS, PERCEPTION
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Speech, Hearing and Phonetic Sciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10057721
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