Philippe Schyns Seminar, Friday May 25th 2012 at 10:30 am, room 101 Pôle AAFE

Published: 21 mai 12, 14:05 in Seminars.

Philippe Schyns

Professeur Department of Psychology University of Glasgow

« Dynamic brain coding of facial expressions of emotion and cultural influences on their representations »

In the first part of the talk, we will present data refuting the Ekman's prevalent idea that all humans communicate six basic internal emotional states (happy, surprise, fear, disgust, anger and sad) using the same facial movements by virtue of their biological and evolutionary origins. Using a unique computer graphics platform that combines generative grammars with visual perception, we assessed the mind's eye of observers in the Western Caucasian and East Asian cultures and reconstructed their mental representations of the six basic expressions of emotion. Cross-cultural comparisons of the mental representations refute universality. In the second part, we will examine how the brain dynamically code facial expressions of emotion. Using information sampling techniques merged with information theory, we demonstrated that the phase of cortical oscillations code diagnostic expressive features. In addition, this coding is multiplexed across oscillatory bands--much like radio waves code different radio stations.
Jack, R.E., Garrod, O.G.B., Yu, H., Caldara, R. & Schyns, P.G. (2012). Facial expressions of emotion are not culturally universal. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Doi/10.1073/pnas.1200155109.
Schyns, P.G., Thut, G. & Gross, J. (2011). Cracking the code of oscillatory activity. PLoS Biology. PLoS Biology, 9(5):e1001064. doi:10/1371/journal.pbio.1001064.

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