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Human and machine validation of 14 databases of dynamic facial expressions

Krumhuber, EG; Küster, D; Namba, S; Skora, L; (2020) Human and machine validation of 14 databases of dynamic facial expressions. Behavior Research Methods 10.3758/s13428-020-01443-y. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

With a shift in interest toward dynamic expressions, numerous corpora of dynamic facial stimuli have been developed over the past two decades. The present research aimed to test existing sets of dynamic facial expressions (published between 2000 and 2015) in a cross-corpus validation effort. For this, 14 dynamic databases were selected that featured facial expressions of the basic six emotions (anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness, surprise) in posed or spontaneous form. In Study 1, a subset of stimuli from each database (N = 162) were presented to human observers and machine analysis, yielding considerable variance in emotion recognition performance across the databases. Classification accuracy further varied with perceived intensity and naturalness of the displays, with posed expressions being judged more accurately and as intense, but less natural compared to spontaneous ones. Study 2 aimed for a full validation of the 14 databases by subjecting the entire stimulus set (N = 3812) to machine analysis. A FACS-based Action Unit (AU) analysis revealed that facial AU configurations were more prototypical in posed than spontaneous expressions. The prototypicality of an expression in turn predicted emotion classification accuracy, with higher performance observed for more prototypical facial behavior. Furthermore, technical features of each database (i.e., duration, face box size, head rotation, and motion) had a significant impact on recognition accuracy. Together, the findings suggest that existing databases vary in their ability to signal specific emotions, thereby facing a trade-off between realism and ecological validity on the one end, and expression uniformity and comparability on the other.

Type: Article
Title: Human and machine validation of 14 databases of dynamic facial expressions
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3758/s13428-020-01443-y
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.3758/s13428-020-01443-y
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Keywords: Database, Dynamic, Emotion, FACS, Facial expression, Machine analysis
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 > Experimental Psychology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10109015
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