facial expression


Summary: Observable changes of expression in the face in response to emotional stimuli.

Top Publications

  1. Siddiqi M, Lee S, Lee Y, Khan A, Truc P. Hierarchical recognition scheme for human facial expression recognition systems. Sensors (Basel). 2013;13:16682-713 pubmed publisher
    ..Weighted average recognition accuracy of 98.7% across three different datasets, using three classifiers, indicates the success of employing the HL-FER for human FER. ..
  2. Halasz J, Aspán N, Bozsik C, Gadoros J, Inántsy Pap J. The relationship between conduct symptoms and the recognition of emotions in non-clinical adolescents. Psychiatr Hung. 2013;28:104-10 pubmed
    ..44, p<0.015), while similar correlation was not present in girls. The relationship between the recognition of emotions and conduct problems might indicate an important mechanism in the development of antisocial behavior. ..
  3. Uono S, Sato W, Toichi M. The specific impairment of fearful expression recognition and its atypical development in pervasive developmental disorder. Soc Neurosci. 2011;6:452-63 pubmed publisher
    Several studies have examined facial expression recognition in pervasive developmental disorder (PDD), including autism and Asperger's disorder, but the results have been inconsistent...
  4. Petroni A, Canales Johnson A, Urquina H, Guex R, Hurtado E, Blenkmann A, et al. The cortical processing of facial emotional expression is associated with social cognition skills and executive functioning: a preliminary study. Neurosci Lett. 2011;505:41-6 pubmed publisher
    ..Executive functioning ability also correlated with the cortical discrimination of complex emotional stimuli. Our findings suggest that the cortical processing of facial emotional expression is associated with social cognition skills. ..
  5. Rutishauser U, Tudusciuc O, Neumann D, Mamelak A, Heller A, Ross I, et al. Single-unit responses selective for whole faces in the human amygdala. Curr Biol. 2011;21:1654-60 pubmed publisher
    ..We suggest that the human amygdala plays a predominant role in representing global information about faces, possibly achieved through inhibition between individual facial features. ..
  6. Perlman S, Almeida J, Kronhaus D, Versace A, Labarbara E, Klein C, et al. Amygdala activity and prefrontal cortex-amygdala effective connectivity to emerging emotional faces distinguish remitted and depressed mood states in bipolar disorder. Bipolar Disord. 2012;14:162-74 pubmed publisher
    ..Our findings suggest major differences in recruitment of amygdala-PFC circuitry, supporting implicit emotion processing between remitted-BD and depressed-BD subjects, which may underlie changes from remission to depression in BD. ..
  7. Liu J, Blond B, van Dyck L, Spencer L, Wang F, Blumberg H. Trait and state corticostriatal dysfunction in bipolar disorder during emotional face processing. Bipolar Disord. 2012;14:432-41 pubmed publisher
  8. Rossignol M, Philippot P, Bissot C, Rigoulot S, Campanella S. Electrophysiological correlates of enhanced perceptual processes and attentional capture by emotional faces in social anxiety. Brain Res. 2012;1460:50-62 pubmed publisher
    ..By contrast, later cognitive stages and behavioural performances were not modulated by social anxiety, supporting the theory of dissociation between efficiency and effectiveness in anxiety. ..
  9. Louise von Borries A, Volman I, de Bruijn E, Bulten B, Verkes R, Roelofs K. Psychopaths lack the automatic avoidance of social threat: relation to instrumental aggression. Psychiatry Res. 2012;200:761-6 pubmed publisher
    ..These findings suggest that social performance in psychopaths is disturbed on a basic level of automatic action tendencies. The lack of implicit threat avoidance tendencies may underlie their aggressive behaviour. ..

More Information


  1. Ottaviani C, Cevolani D, Nucifora V, Borlimi R, Agati R, Leonardi M, et al. Amygdala responses to masked and low spatial frequency fearful faces: a preliminary fMRI study in panic disorder. Psychiatry Res. 2012;203:159-65 pubmed publisher
    ..Findings suggest maladaptive amygdala responses to potentially threatening visual stimuli in PD patients. ..
  2. Voelkle M, Ebner N, Lindenberger U, Riediger M. Let me guess how old you are: effects of age, gender, and facial expression on perceptions of age. Psychol Aging. 2012;27:265-77 pubmed publisher
    ..Results are discussed in terms of methodological and practical implications for research on age estimation. ..
  3. Domes G, Sibold M, Schulze L, Lischke A, Herpertz S, Heinrichs M. Intranasal oxytocin increases covert attention to positive social cues. Psychol Med. 2013;43:1747-53 pubmed publisher
    ..The results suggest that OT increased covert attention to happy faces, thereby supporting the hypothesis that OT modulates early attentional processes that might promote prosocial behavior. ..
  4. Lischke A, Berger C, Prehn K, Heinrichs M, Herpertz S, Domes G. Intranasal oxytocin enhances emotion recognition from dynamic facial expressions and leaves eye-gaze unaffected. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2012;37:475-81 pubmed publisher
    ..These findings suggest that oxytocin-induced improvement of facial emotion recognition is independent of modulations in overt visual attention. ..
  5. Cook R, Brewer R, Shah P, Bird G. Alexithymia, not autism, predicts poor recognition of emotional facial expressions. Psychol Sci. 2013;24:723-32 pubmed publisher
    ..These findings accord with the hypothesis that the emotional symptoms of autism are in fact due to co-occurring alexithymia and that existing diagnostic criteria may need to be revised. ..
  6. Graham R, LaBar K. Neurocognitive mechanisms of gaze-expression interactions in face processing and social attention. Neuropsychologia. 2012;50:553-66 pubmed publisher
  7. Donges U, Kugel H, Stuhrmann A, Grotegerd D, Redlich R, Lichev V, et al. Adult attachment anxiety is associated with enhanced automatic neural response to positive facial expression. Neuroscience. 2012;220:149-57 pubmed publisher
    ..Behavioral research has shown that anxiously attached persons are vigilant for emotional facial expression, but the neural substrates underlying this perceptual sensitivity remain largely unknown...
  8. Fitousi D, Wenger M. Variants of independence in the perception of facial identity and expression. J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform. 2013;39:133-55 pubmed publisher
    ..In addition, the intricate but orderly relationships between various types of separability and independence have implications for theories of perceptual independence...
  9. Viding E, Sebastian C, Dadds M, Lockwood P, Cecil C, De Brito S, et al. Amygdala response to preattentive masked fear in children with conduct problems: the role of callous-unemotional traits. Am J Psychiatry. 2012;169:1109-16 pubmed publisher
    ..The study's findings complement increasing evidence suggesting that callous-unemotional traits are an important specifier in the classification of children with conduct problems. ..
  10. Maronidis A, Bolis D, Tefas A, Pitas I. Improving subspace learning for facial expression recognition using person dependent and geometrically enriched training sets. Neural Netw. 2011;24:814-23 pubmed publisher
    ..A number of such techniques are presented and tested using four facial expression databases...
  11. Wang L, Fu S, Feng C, Luo W, Zhu X, Luo Y. The neural processing of fearful faces without attention and consciousness: an event-related potential study. Neurosci Lett. 2012;506:317-21 pubmed publisher
    ..of fearful faces exist in unattended condition, event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded in a facial expression detection task...
  12. Sauter D, Leguen O, Haun D. Categorical perception of emotional facial expressions does not require lexical categories. Emotion. 2011;11:1479-83 pubmed publisher
    ..Our results show that the perception of affective signals is not driven by lexical labels, instead lending support to accounts of emotions as a set of biologically evolved mechanisms. ..
  13. Maratos F. Temporal processing of emotional stimuli: the capture and release of attention by angry faces. Emotion. 2011;11:1242-7 pubmed publisher
    ..The current data therefore provide important information regarding the time-course of attentional capture by angry faces: Angry faces are associated with both the rapid capture and rapid release of attention. ..
  14. Polli E, Bersani F, De Rose C, Liberati D, Valeriani G, Weisz F, et al. [Facial Action Coding System (FACS): an instrument for the objective evaluation of facial expression and its potential applications to the study of schizophrenia]. Riv Psichiatr. 2012;47:126-38 pubmed publisher
  15. App B, Reed C, McIntosh D. Relative contributions of face and body configurations: perceiving emotional state and motion intention. Cogn Emot. 2012;26:690-8 pubmed publisher
    ..These findings highlight the importance of considering both the face and body as important sources of emotion information. ..
  16. Hadj Bouziane F, Liu N, Bell A, Gothard K, Luh W, Tootell R, et al. Amygdala lesions disrupt modulation of functional MRI activity evoked by facial expression in the monkey inferior temporal cortex. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012;109:E3640-8 pubmed publisher
    ..Moreover, these modulatory effects are consistent with an anterior-to-posterior gradient of projections, as suggested by classical tracer studies. ..
  17. Soussignan R, Chadwick M, Philip L, Conty L, Dezecache G, Grezes J. Self-relevance appraisal of gaze direction and dynamic facial expressions: effects on facial electromyographic and autonomic reactions. Emotion. 2013;13:330-7 pubmed publisher
    ..These results suggest the critical role of self-relevance appraisal of senders' contextual perceptual cues and individual characteristics to account for interpersonal matching of facial displays...
  18. Grynberg D, Chang B, Corneille O, Maurage P, Vermeulen N, Berthoz S, et al. Alexithymia and the processing of emotional facial expressions (EFEs): systematic review, unanswered questions and further perspectives. PLoS ONE. 2012;7:e42429 pubmed publisher
    ..These studies are discussed with respect to processes involved in the recognition of EFEs. Future directions for research on emotion perception are also discussed. ..
  19. Straube T, Mothes Lasch M, Miltner W. Neural mechanisms of the automatic processing of emotional information from faces and voices. Br J Psychol. 2011;102:830-48 pubmed publisher
  20. Dael N, Mortillaro M, Scherer K. Emotion expression in body action and posture. Emotion. 2012;12:1085-101 pubmed publisher
    ..It is concluded that further work in this largely underdeveloped area should be guided by an appropriate theoretical framework to allow a more systematic design of experiments and clear hypothesis testing. ..
  21. Nakashima S, Langton S, Yoshikawa S. The effect of facial expression and gaze direction on memory for unfamiliar faces. Cogn Emot. 2012;26:1316-25 pubmed publisher
    We report data from an experiment that investigated the influence of gaze direction and facial expression on face memory...
  22. Ellenbogen M, Linnen A, Grumet R, Cardoso C, Joober R. The acute effects of intranasal oxytocin on automatic and effortful attentional shifting to emotional faces. Psychophysiology. 2012;49:128-37 pubmed publisher
    ..Oxytocin's influence on social behavior may occur, in part, by eliciting flexible attentional shifting in the early stages of information processing. ..
  23. Zhu B, Chen C, Moyzis R, Dong Q, Chen C, He Q, et al. Genetic variations in the dopamine system and facial expression recognition in healthy chinese college students. Neuropsychobiology. 2012;65:83-9 pubmed publisher
    This study investigated the relation between genetic variations in the dopamine system and facial expression recognition. A sample of Chinese college students (n = 478) was given a facial expression recognition task...
  24. Grezes J, Philip L, Chadwick M, Dezecache G, Soussignan R, Conty L. Self-relevance appraisal influences facial reactions to emotional body expressions. PLoS ONE. 2013;8:e55885 pubmed publisher
    ..These data support the hypothesis that rapid facial reactions are the outcome of self-relevant emotional processing...
  25. Bayard S, Croisier Langenier M, Dauvilliers Y. Facial expression recognition and emotional regulation in narcolepsy with cataplexy. J Sleep Res. 2013;22:170-7 pubmed publisher
    ..The absence of alteration of perceived affective valence remains a major clinical interest in narcolepsy with cataplexy, and it supports the argument for optimal behaviour and social functioning in narcolepsy with cataplexy...
  26. Kamiyama K, Abla D, Iwanaga K, Okanoya K. Interaction between musical emotion and facial expression as measured by event-related potentials. Neuropsychologia. 2013;51:500-5 pubmed publisher
    ..This is the first study on musical stimuli primed by facial expressions to demonstrate that the N400 component reflects the affective priming effect. ..
  27. Dawel A, O Kearney R, McKone E, Palermo R. Not just fear and sadness: meta-analytic evidence of pervasive emotion recognition deficits for facial and vocal expressions in psychopathy. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2012;36:2288-304 pubmed publisher
    ..We discuss limitations of the available data that restrict the ability of meta-analysis to consider the influence of age and separate the sub-factors of psychopathy, highlighting important directions for future research. ..
  28. Zhao X, Zhang S. Facial expression recognition based on local binary patterns and kernel discriminant isomap. Sensors (Basel). 2011;11:9573-88 pubmed publisher
    b>Facial expression recognition is an interesting and challenging subject...
  29. Mourao Miranda J, Almeida J, Hassel S, de Oliveira L, Versace A, Marquand A, et al. Pattern recognition analyses of brain activation elicited by happy and neutral faces in unipolar and bipolar depression. Bipolar Disord. 2012;14:451-60 pubmed publisher
  30. Gainotti G. Unconscious processing of emotions and the right hemisphere. Neuropsychologia. 2012;50:205-18 pubmed publisher
    ..In the last part of the review, the reasons that could subsume the right hemisphere dominance for unconscious emotions are shortly discussed. ..
  31. Kawasaki H, Tsuchiya N, Kovach C, Nourski K, Oya H, Howard M, et al. Processing of facial emotion in the human fusiform gyrus. J Cogn Neurosci. 2012;24:1358-70 pubmed publisher
  32. Egger H, Pine D, Nelson E, Leibenluft E, Ernst M, Towbin K, et al. The NIMH Child Emotional Faces Picture Set (NIMH-ChEFS): a new set of children's facial emotion stimuli. Int J Methods Psychiatr Res. 2011;20:145-56 pubmed publisher
    ..These data should give researchers confidence in the NIMH-ChEFS's validity for use in affective and social neuroscience research. ..
  33. Ball T, Sullivan S, Flagan T, Hitchcock C, Simmons A, Paulus M, et al. Selective effects of social anxiety, anxiety sensitivity, and negative affectivity on the neural bases of emotional face processing. Neuroimage. 2012;59:1879-87 pubmed publisher
    ..In comparison, hypoactivity to positively valenced faces was predominantly associated with negative affectivity. Implications for the understanding of emotion processing in anxiety are discussed. ..
  34. Li X, Lu Y, Sun G, Gao L, Zhao L. Visual mismatch negativity elicited by facial expressions: new evidence from the equiprobable paradigm. Behav Brain Funct. 2012;8:7 pubmed publisher
    ..facial expressions might elicit the visual mismatch negativity (MMN), expression MMN (EMMN), reflecting that facial expression could be processed under non-attentional condition...
  35. Kaulard K, Cunningham D, Bülthoff H, Wallraven C. The MPI facial expression database--a validated database of emotional and conversational facial expressions. PLoS ONE. 2012;7:e32321 pubmed publisher
    ..To fill this gap, we present the MPI facial expression database, which contains a large variety of natural emotional and conversational expressions...
  36. Aviezer H, Trope Y, Todorov A. Body cues, not facial expressions, discriminate between intense positive and negative emotions. Science. 2012;338:1225-9 pubmed publisher
    ..These findings challenge standard models of emotion expression and highlight the role of the body in expressing and perceiving emotions. ..
  37. Racca A, Guo K, Meints K, Mills D. Reading faces: differential lateral gaze bias in processing canine and human facial expressions in dogs and 4-year-old children. PLoS ONE. 2012;7:e36076 pubmed publisher
  38. Szekely E, Herba C, Arp P, Uitterlinden A, Jaddoe V, Hofman A, et al. Recognition of scared faces and the serotonin transporter gene in young children: the Generation R Study. J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2011;52:1279-86 pubmed publisher
    ..This pattern is already apparent in very young typically developing children. Results may signal an early vulnerability for affective problems before disorders emerge. ..
  39. Snow J, Ingeholm J, Levy I, Caravella R, Case L, Wallace G, et al. Impaired visual scanning and memory for faces in high-functioning autism spectrum disorders: it's not just the eyes. J Int Neuropsychol Soc. 2011;17:1021-9 pubmed publisher
    ..e., eyes, nose, and mouth). We concluded that ASD individuals have a domain-specific memory impairment for faces relative to mechanical objects and that this impairment may be related to abnormal scanning during encoding. ..
  40. Weigelt S, Koldewyn K, Kanwisher N. Face identity recognition in autism spectrum disorders: a review of behavioral studies. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2012;36:1060-84 pubmed publisher
    ..Although some evidence suggests that this deficit may be specific to faces, further evidence on this question is necessary. ..
  41. Frenkel T, Bar Haim Y. Neural activation during the processing of ambiguous fearful facial expressions: an ERP study in anxious and nonanxious individuals. Biol Psychol. 2011;88:188-95 pubmed publisher
    ..These findings reveal an anxiety-related dissociation between the early and late processing stages of threat processing. Implications are discussed in light of existing theories of cognitive biases in anxiety. ..
  42. Mancini G, Ferrari P, Palagi E. Rapid facial mimicry in geladas. Sci Rep. 2013;3:1527 pubmed publisher
    ..Moreover, data point to similarities in the modality in which mother-infant synchronous behaviours are expressed among primates, suggesting a common evolutionary root in the basic elements of mother-infant affective exchanges...
  43. Wang Y, Ramsey R, Hamilton A. The control of mimicry by eye contact is mediated by medial prefrontal cortex. J Neurosci. 2011;31:12001-10 pubmed publisher
    ..Thus, our results demonstrate how different components of the social brain work together to on-line control mimicry according to the social context. ..
  44. Aviezer H, Trope Y, Todorov A. Holistic person processing: faces with bodies tell the whole story. J Pers Soc Psychol. 2012;103:20-37 pubmed publisher
    ..These results show that faces and bodies are processed as a single unit and support the notion of a composite person effect analogous to the classic effect described for faces...
  45. Ruhe H, Booij J, Veltman D, Michel M, Schene A. Successful pharmacologic treatment of major depressive disorder attenuates amygdala activation to negative facial expressions: a functional magnetic resonance imaging study. J Clin Psychiatry. 2012;73:451-9 pubmed publisher
    ..Changes in amygdala activation when processing negative faces might serve as an indicator for improved frontolimbic control, which is required for clinical response. ISRCTN identifier: ISRCTN44111488. ..
  46. Meletti S, Cantalupo G, Benuzzi F, Mai R, Tassi L, Gasparini E, et al. Fear and happiness in the eyes: an intra-cerebral event-related potential study from the human amygdala. Neuropsychologia. 2012;50:44-54 pubmed publisher
    ..These data are consistent with a special role of the amygdala in processing facial signals, both with negative and positive valence, conveyed by the eye region of the face. ..
  47. Passamonti L, Crockett M, Apergis Schoute A, Clark L, Rowe J, Calder A, et al. Effects of acute tryptophan depletion on prefrontal-amygdala connectivity while viewing facial signals of aggression. Biol Psychiatry. 2012;71:36-43 pubmed publisher
    ..We provide strong support for neurobiological accounts positing that 5-HT significantly influences PFC-amygdala circuits implicated in aggression and other affective behaviors. ..
  48. Mondloch C. Sad or fearful? The influence of body posture on adults' and children's perception of facial displays of emotion. J Exp Child Psychol. 2012;111:180-96 pubmed publisher
    ..Evidence that congruency effects vary with age and with similarity of emotional expressions is consistent with dimensional theories and "emotional seed" models of emotion perception. ..
  49. Rellecke J, Sommer W, Schacht A. Emotion effects on the n170: a question of reference?. Brain Topogr. 2013;26:62-71 pubmed publisher
    ..Our findings are consistent with traditional models of face processing assuming face and emotion encoding to be parallel and independent processes. ..
  50. Klasen M, Kenworthy C, Mathiak K, Kircher T, Mathiak K. Supramodal representation of emotions. J Neurosci. 2011;31:13635-43 pubmed publisher
    ..These findings document that emotional information does not merge at the perceptual audiovisual integration level in unimodal or multimodal areas, but in vPCC and amygdala. ..
  51. Mondloch C, Horner M, Mian J. Wide eyes and drooping arms: adult-like congruency effects emerge early in the development of sensitivity to emotional faces and body postures. J Exp Child Psychol. 2013;114:203-16 pubmed publisher
    ..Testing children with emotional faces presented in the context of body postures and background scenes is an important step toward understanding how they perceive emotions on a daily basis. ..
  52. van der Zwaag W, Da Costa S, Zürcher N, Adams R, Hadjikhani N. A 7 tesla FMRI study of amygdala responses to fearful faces. Brain Topogr. 2012;25:125-8 pubmed publisher
  53. Reissland N, Francis B, Mason J, Lincoln K. Do facial expressions develop before birth?. PLoS ONE. 2011;6:e24081 pubmed publisher
    ..We propose that there is considerable potential of this method for assessing fetal development: Subsequent discrimination of normal and abnormal fetal facial development might identify health problems in utero. ..