Recognition of all basic emotions varies in accuracy and reaction time: A new verbal method of measurement
To study different aspects of facial emotion recognition, valid methods are needed. The more widespread methods have some limitations. We propose a more ecological method that consists of presenting dynamic faces and measuring verbal reaction times. We presented 120 video clips depicting a gradual change from a neutral expression to a basic emotion (anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness and surprise), and recorded hit rates and reaction times of verbal labelling of emotions. Our results showed that verbal responses to six basic emotions differed in hit rates and reaction times: happiness > surprise > disgust > anger > sadness > fear (this means these emotional responses were more accurate and faster). Generally, our data are in accordance with previous findings, but our differentiation of responses is better than the data from previous experiments on six basic emotions.
When touching different objects, we process their emotional qualities: some objects are pleasant to the touch, while others are not. The neural correlates of affective processing of touch are mostly investigated via stimulation of CT afferents, which innervate only hairy skin and encode affective properties of the stimuli. However, emotional qualities of touch can be processed via glabrous skin as well, despite the absence of CT afferents. In the present fMRI study, we investigated the neural mechanisms of affective processing of touch in glabrous skin. Participants touched various textures, evaluating them on emotional scales (cruel-kind, unpleasant-pleasant). We found that the angular gyrus and supramarginal gyrus are more active for textures evaluated as “cruel” as opposed to “kind” ones. The secondary somatosensory cortex, caudate and superior frontal gyrus are more active for textures evaluated as “unpleasant” as opposed to “pleasant” ones. Overall, the study shows how some affective properties of touch can be processed beyond the CT afferents system.
Cross-modal associations appear when a stimulus from one modality associates with a stimulus from another modality (e.g., when color associates with sound). In the present study we investigated cross-modal correspondences between films and textures. Participants watched fragments of movies with elements of tragedy and comedy. Next, they touched different textures (e.g., silk, marble, velvet) and associated them with the movies. Systematic links were found between films and textures. Films with comic elements were associated with glass pebbles and a slime toy. The study also tested the emotion-mediation hypothesis wherein emotional evaluation mediates cross-modal associations between cinema and textures. It was found that the evaluation of movies and textures on several emotional and semantic scales (e.g., sad, happy, clean, dirty) mediates cross-modal associations.
The paper considers semantic structure of emotion causatives and their interaction with negation, namely, its narrow or wide scope. Emotion causatives are defined as a group of causatives with their specific semantic properties that distinguish them from other groups of causatives. One of those properties concerns their relation with corresponding decausatives, which, unlike causatives, do not license wide scope of negation. There are several factors that enable negation to have scope over the causative element in emotion causatives – their imperfective aspect, generic referential status of the causative NP phrase, agentivity and conativity of the causative. Non-agentive causatives never license the negation of the causative component. Agentive conative causatives license the negation of the causative component more frequently and easily than agentive non-conative causatives, prompting the assumption that in their semantic structures the causative component has different statuses (assertion in the former, presupposition in the latter). It also has different forms for conatives and non-conatives. Conativity vs. non-conativity of emotion causatives is related to the emotion type, with conative synthetic causatives being limited to basic emotions. The greatest degree of conativity and, hence, the assertive status of the causative component characterizes three emotion causatives – zlit’ ‘to make mad’, veselit’ ‘to cheer up’, and pugat’ ‘to frighten’.
Key words: causative, decausative, agentive, conative, intentional, presupposition, assertion, semantic structure, basic emotions
The paper presents corpus-driven semantic analysis of Russian classic elegy introduced in poetic heritage of V. Zhukovsky, E. Baratynsky, and A. Pushkin. Contemporaries criticized classic elegy for eulogizing sadness and disappointment, and even claimed sorrow as a genre feature. This study addresses correlations between common impression of sorrow and actual emotional nominations in lyric of three Russian masters of the classy elegy. Сontrary to all expectations, the most diverse emotional nominations denote joy and happiness, whereas lexemes referring to sorrow and anxiety are less frequent. The analysis also reveals stylistic distinctions between the poets. While emotional nominations of Pushkin's and Zhukovsky's elegies mostly councide, the Baratynsky's elegies demonstrate narrow spectrum of feelings and mostly concentrate around love rather than philosophical meditation and emotional distress.
The complex sensory input and motor reflexes that keep body posture and head position aligned are influenced by emotional reactions evoked by visual or auditory stimulation. Several theoretical approaches have emphasized the relevance of motor reactions in emotional response. Emotions are considered as a tendency or predisposition to act that depends on two motivational systems in the brain — the appetitive system, related to approach behaviours, and the defensive system, related to withdrawal or fight-or-flight behaviours. Few studies on emotion have been conducted employing kinematic methods, however. Motion analysis of the head may be a promising method for studying the impact of viewing affective pictures on emotional response. For this purpose, we presented unpleasant, neutral and pleasant affective pictures. Participants were instructed to view the pictures and to remain still. Two light-emitting diodes (LEDs) were attached to the foreheads of participants, and a Wii Remote controller, positioned 25 cm away, detected the position of the LEDs in the medial–lateral and anterior–posterior axes. We found more sway in response to unpleasant pictures. In addition, unpleasant pictures also provoked faster movements than both neutral and pleasant pictures. This response to unpleasant pictures, in contrast to pleasant ones, might reflect the readiness or predisposition to act. Our data also revealed that men moved faster than women, which is in accordance with previous findings related to gender differences.
The social content of affective stimuli has been proposed as having an influence on cognitive processing and behaviour. This research was aimed, therefore, at studying whether automatic exogenous attention demanded by affective pictures was related to their social value. We hypothesised that affective social pictures would capture attention to a greater extent than non-social affective stimuli. For this purpose, we recorded event-related potentials in a sample of 24 participants engaged in a digit categorisation task. Distracters were affective pictures varying in social content, in addition to affective valence and arousal, which appeared in the background during the task. Our data revealed that pictures depicting high social content captured greater automatic attention than other pictures, as reflected by the greater amplitude and shorter latency of anterior P2, and anterior and posterior N2 components of the ERPs.
Haptics plays an important role in emotion perception. However, most studies of the affective aspects of haptics have investigated emotional valence rather than emotional categories. In the present study, we explored the associations of different textures with six basic emotions: fear, anger, happiness, disgust, sadness and surprise. Participants touched twenty-one different textures and evaluated them using six emotional scales. Additionally, we explored whether individual differences in participants' levels of alexithymia are related to the intensity of emotions associated with touching the textures. Alexithymia is a trait related to difficulties in identifying, describing and communicating emotions to others. The findings show that people associated touching different textures with distinct emotions. Textures associated with each of the basic emotions were identified. The study also revealed that a higher alexithymia level corresponds to a higher intensity of associations between textures and the emotions of disgust, anger and sadness.