Towards a Mechanistic Understanding of the Effects of Body Posture on Facial Emotion Categorization
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This study investigated the causes of the face-body congruence effect (FBCE), which refers to the advantage in performance when participants are asked to categorize emotional faces compounded with emotional matching body postures (congruent) compared with incongruent face-body compound stimuli (body postures mismatching the facial emotions). Experiment 1 showed that manipulations aiming to alter holistic processing significantly reduced the FBCE. In particular, the disruption of holistic processing affected significantly the performance for congruent composites. However, no effect was obtained on the incongruent stimuli. In Experiment 2, the inversion manipulation showed a clear disadvantage for incongruent stimuli brought by the disruption of the single feature orientation information. Thus, we found confirmation of the different processing involved in perceiving congruent and incongruent stimuli. Finally, Experiment 3 confirmed that we are able to reduce entirely the FBCE when the orientation of the units (the face and the body) constituting the incongruent composites is matched.
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