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Haptic recognition of static and dynamic expressions of emotion in the live face.

journal contribution
posted on 2007-02-01, 00:00 authored by Susan J. Lederman, Roberta KlatzkyRoberta Klatzky, Aneta Abramowicz, K Salsman, Ryo Kitada, Cheryl Hamilton

If humans can detect the wealth of tactile and haptic information potentially available in live facial expressions of emotion (FEEs), they should be capable of haptically recognizing the six universal expressions of emotion (anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness, and surprise) at levels well above chance. We tested this hypothesis in the experiments reported here. With minimal training, subjects' overall mean accuracy was 51% for static FEEs (Experiment 1) and 74% for dynamic FEEs (Experiment 2). All FEEs except static fear were successfully recognized above the chance level of 16.7%. Complementing these findings, overall confidence and information transmission were higher for dynamic than for corresponding static faces. Our performance measures (accuracy and confidence ratings, plus response latency in Experiment 2 only) confirmed that happiness, sadness, and surprise were all highly recognizable, and anger, disgust, and fear less so.