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Saccadic eye movements are deployed faster for salient facial stimuli, but are relatively indifferent to their emotional content

Webb, Abigail and Hibbard, Paul and Asher, Jordi (2022) 'Saccadic eye movements are deployed faster for salient facial stimuli, but are relatively indifferent to their emotional content.' Vision Research, 198. p. 108054. ISSN 0042-6989

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Abstract

The present study explores the threat bias for fearful facial expressions using saccadic latency, with a particular focus on the role of low-level facial information, including spatial frequency and contrast. In a simple localisation task, participants were presented with spatially-filtered versions of neutral, fearful, angry and happy faces. Together, our findings show that saccadic responses are not biased toward fearful expressions compared to neutral, angry or happy counterparts, regardless of their spatial frequency content. Saccadic response times are, however, significantly influenced by the spatial frequency and contrast of facial stimuli. We discuss the implications of these findings for the threat bias literature, and the extent to which image processing can be expected to influence behavioural responses to socially-relevant facial stimuli.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: facial expression; threat bias; emotion; saccadic latency; spatial frequency; contrast; eye movements; reaction time
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health
Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 04 May 2022 09:44
Last Modified: 20 Jun 2022 16:17
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/32793

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