Attribution of emotional state of mind modulates the size of facial expression aftereffects

Tjeerd Jellema, Joanna Wincenciak, Letizia Palumbo, Bruce David Keefe, Nick Barraclough

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Aftereffects following adaptation to facial expressions are well documented, but less is known about the influence of the perceived emotional state of mind of the adapted actor on these aftereffects. To investigate this further, we tested participants’ adaptation to both genuine and faked facial expressions of joy and anger that were matched for intensity. On each trial, participants first assessed whether a facial expression was faked or genuine. They received feedback about their judgement ensuring they held the correct belief about the emotional state of mind of the actor. Participants next adapted to this facial expression for either 500ms, 5s or 8s, in a between-subject design. Responses to the neutral test expression of the same actor were measured on a 5-point Likert scale (including neutral). Following 5s and 500ms adaptation, aftereffects to genuine expressions of joy and anger were significantly larger than those to faked expressions of joy and anger. This ’advantage’ for genuine expressions disappeared following 8s adaptation, where equally strong aftereffects were obtained. These findings suggest that adaptation to facial expressions is influenced by emotional state attribution, but that this effect is short-lasting.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPerception
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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