Visual field, Exposure Duration, and Sex as Factors in the Perception of Emotional Facial Expressions

Document Type


Publication Date



visual field & exposure duration & sex of model & observer, perception of emotional facial expression, college students

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)



Tested in 2 studies differential hemispheric involvement in the perception of emotion of 72 undergraduates through the manipulation of visual field (VF), exposure duration, emotional expression, sex of model, and sex of observer. Standardized photographs of happy and sad expressions of each sex (Study 1) or a male only (Study 2) were viewed at short and long exposure durations (30 and 200 msec) in each VF by Ss who then verbally described the stimuli as the same or different. A 3-field tachistoscope was used for presentation of visual stimuli. Results indicate that happy expressions were more readily encoded, regardless of hemisphere, than sad and neutral expressions. Accuracy judgments were significantly higher for the male as opposed to the female model. The lack of hemispheric differences questions the left VF advantage for smiling faces found by R. Campbell (see record 1980-06719-001) and W. Heller and J. Levy (see record 1981-32213-001). It is suggested that tachistoscopic presentation of component features of facial expressions (e.g., eyes vs mouth) might elicit lateralized responding.

Was this content written or created while at USF?


Citation / Publisher Attribution

Cortex: A Journal Devoted to the Study of the Nervous System and Behavior, v. 19, issue 3, p. 293-308