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The perception of time while perceiving dynamic emotional faces.

Li WO, Yuen KS - Front Psychol (2015)

Bottom Line: This effect can hardly be explained by induced emotion given the heterogeneous nature of emotional expressions.In addition, dynamic facial expressions exert a greater effect on perceived time drag than static expressions.The effect is most prominent when the dynamics involve an angry face or a change in valence.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Counselling and Psychology, Hong Kong Shue Yan University Braemar Hill, Hong Kong, China.

ABSTRACT
Emotion plays an essential role in the perception of time such that time is perceived to "fly" when events are enjoyable, while unenjoyable moments are perceived to "drag." Previous studies have reported a time-drag effect when participants are presented with emotional facial expressions, regardless of the emotion presented. This effect can hardly be explained by induced emotion given the heterogeneous nature of emotional expressions. We conducted two experiments (n = 44 and n = 39) to examine the cognitive mechanism underlying this effect by presenting dynamic sequences of emotional expressions to participants. Each sequence started with a particular expression, then morphed to another. The presentation of dynamic facial expressions allows a comparison between the time-drag effect of homogeneous pairs of emotional expressions sharing similar valence and arousal to heterogeneous pairs. Sequences of seven durations (400, 600, 800, 1000, 1200, 1400, 1600 ms) were presented to participants, who were asked to judge whether the sequences were closer to 400 or 1600 ms in a two-alternative forced choice task. The data were then collated according to conditions and fit into cumulative Gaussian curves to estimate the point of subjective equivalence indicating the perceived duration of 1000 ms. Consistent with previous reports, a feeling of "time dragging" is induced regardless of the sequence presented, such that 1000 ms is perceived to be longer than 1000 ms. In addition, dynamic facial expressions exert a greater effect on perceived time drag than static expressions. The effect is most prominent when the dynamics involve an angry face or a change in valence. The significance of this sensitivity is discussed in terms of emotion perception and its evolutionary significance for our attention mechanism.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Summary of PSEs in Experiment 2. Error bars indicate ± SE. The dotted line indicates the PSE of static neutral expression as the reference. **p < 0.01 in a t-test comparing the PSEs between this reference and the condition.
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Figure 6: Summary of PSEs in Experiment 2. Error bars indicate ± SE. The dotted line indicates the PSE of static neutral expression as the reference. **p < 0.01 in a t-test comparing the PSEs between this reference and the condition.

Mentions: Dynamic expressions involving a happy expression also appear to amplify the time-drag effect. A contributing factor could be changes of valence in the dynamic expressions. Among all the pairs in Experiment 2, dynamic expressions involving a happy expression involve a significant valence change (Figure 6). Other pairs of angry, disgusted, and fear expressions involve mainly changes in arousal. A valence change in emotional facial expressions potentially provides more information than arousal change for signaling approach or avoidance related motivation. In contrast, change in the arousal of an individual affects the immediacy of a reaction. For example, both sad and angry expressions hint at an avoidance reaction, though the latter signals an immediate escape while the former only hints at a reconsideration or a change of approach. A recent study shows that stimuli signaling a voluntary go/no-go action induce significant time distortion (Yabe and Goodale, 2015). An evaluation of valence change requires a clear recognition to the emotion at both ends, which is only achievable retrospectively. Future neuroimaging studies may explore whether this effect can be found in the affective information pathway.


The perception of time while perceiving dynamic emotional faces.

Li WO, Yuen KS - Front Psychol (2015)

Summary of PSEs in Experiment 2. Error bars indicate ± SE. The dotted line indicates the PSE of static neutral expression as the reference. **p < 0.01 in a t-test comparing the PSEs between this reference and the condition.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4543824&req=5

Figure 6: Summary of PSEs in Experiment 2. Error bars indicate ± SE. The dotted line indicates the PSE of static neutral expression as the reference. **p < 0.01 in a t-test comparing the PSEs between this reference and the condition.
Mentions: Dynamic expressions involving a happy expression also appear to amplify the time-drag effect. A contributing factor could be changes of valence in the dynamic expressions. Among all the pairs in Experiment 2, dynamic expressions involving a happy expression involve a significant valence change (Figure 6). Other pairs of angry, disgusted, and fear expressions involve mainly changes in arousal. A valence change in emotional facial expressions potentially provides more information than arousal change for signaling approach or avoidance related motivation. In contrast, change in the arousal of an individual affects the immediacy of a reaction. For example, both sad and angry expressions hint at an avoidance reaction, though the latter signals an immediate escape while the former only hints at a reconsideration or a change of approach. A recent study shows that stimuli signaling a voluntary go/no-go action induce significant time distortion (Yabe and Goodale, 2015). An evaluation of valence change requires a clear recognition to the emotion at both ends, which is only achievable retrospectively. Future neuroimaging studies may explore whether this effect can be found in the affective information pathway.

Bottom Line: This effect can hardly be explained by induced emotion given the heterogeneous nature of emotional expressions.In addition, dynamic facial expressions exert a greater effect on perceived time drag than static expressions.The effect is most prominent when the dynamics involve an angry face or a change in valence.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Counselling and Psychology, Hong Kong Shue Yan University Braemar Hill, Hong Kong, China.

ABSTRACT
Emotion plays an essential role in the perception of time such that time is perceived to "fly" when events are enjoyable, while unenjoyable moments are perceived to "drag." Previous studies have reported a time-drag effect when participants are presented with emotional facial expressions, regardless of the emotion presented. This effect can hardly be explained by induced emotion given the heterogeneous nature of emotional expressions. We conducted two experiments (n = 44 and n = 39) to examine the cognitive mechanism underlying this effect by presenting dynamic sequences of emotional expressions to participants. Each sequence started with a particular expression, then morphed to another. The presentation of dynamic facial expressions allows a comparison between the time-drag effect of homogeneous pairs of emotional expressions sharing similar valence and arousal to heterogeneous pairs. Sequences of seven durations (400, 600, 800, 1000, 1200, 1400, 1600 ms) were presented to participants, who were asked to judge whether the sequences were closer to 400 or 1600 ms in a two-alternative forced choice task. The data were then collated according to conditions and fit into cumulative Gaussian curves to estimate the point of subjective equivalence indicating the perceived duration of 1000 ms. Consistent with previous reports, a feeling of "time dragging" is induced regardless of the sequence presented, such that 1000 ms is perceived to be longer than 1000 ms. In addition, dynamic facial expressions exert a greater effect on perceived time drag than static expressions. The effect is most prominent when the dynamics involve an angry face or a change in valence. The significance of this sensitivity is discussed in terms of emotion perception and its evolutionary significance for our attention mechanism.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus