2010 volume 39(11) pages 1514 – 1525

Cite as:
Cheal J L, Rutherford M D, 2010, "Mapping emotion category boundaries using a visual expectation paradigm" Perception 39(11) 1514 – 1525

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Mapping emotion category boundaries using a visual expectation paradigm

Jenna L Cheal, M D Rutherford

Received 4 March 2010, in revised form 3 September 2010

Abstract. Past research showing categorical perception of emotional facial expressions has relied on identification and discrimination tasks that require an explicit response via keypress. Here we report a new paradigm for investigating the category boundary of emotional facial expressions that, instead, relies on an implicit response—eye direction. Participants were trained to expect a target stimulus on a particular side of the monitor, predicted by an emotional expression on a face image. An eye-tracker then recorded eye movements of participants as they viewed novel intermediate facial-expression stimuli. Anticipatory eye movement was taken as evidence of categorisation. Results from two experiments suggest that this implicit method can be used to determine category boundaries, and that the boundaries found with this method are similar to those found with the keypress response.

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