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It has been proposed that facial expression production originates in sensory regulation. Here we demonstrate that facial expressions of fear are configured to enhance sensory acquisition. A statistical model of expression appearance revealed that fear and disgust expressions have opposite shape and surface reflectance features. We hypothesized that this(More)
It remains unclear how the brain represents external objective sensory events alongside our internal subjective impressions of them--affect. Representational mapping of population activity evoked by complex scenes and basic tastes in humans revealed a neural code supporting a continuous axis of pleasant-to-unpleasant valence. This valence code was distinct(More)
Numerous emotion researchers have asked their study participants to attend to the distinct feelings of arousal and valence, and self-report and physiological data have supported the independence of the two. We examined whether this dissociation reflects introspection about distinct emotional qualia or the way in which valence is measured. With either(More)
Emotionally enhanced memory and susceptibility to intrusive memories after trauma have been linked to a deletion variant (i.e., a form of a gene in which certain amino acids are missing) of ADRA2B, the gene encoding subtype B of the α2-adrenergic receptor, which influences norepinephrine activity. We examined in 207 participants whether variations in this(More)
Facial expressions may have originated from a primitive sensory regulatory function that was then co-opted and further shaped for the purposes of social utility. In the research reported here, we tested such a hypothesis by investigating the functional origins of fear expressions for both the expresser and the observer. We first found that fear-based eye(More)
Darwin theorized that emotional expressions originated as opposing functional adaptations for the expresser, not as distinct categories of social signals. Given that two thirds of the eye's refractive power comes from the cornea, we examined whether opposing expressive behaviors that widen the eyes (e.g., fear) or narrow the eyes (e.g., disgust) may have(More)
It is well known that we continuously filter incoming sensory information, selectively allocating attention to what is important while suppressing distracting or irrelevant information. Yet questions remain about spatiotemporal patterns of neural processes underlying attentional biases toward emotionally significant aspects of the world. One index of(More)
Black-capped chickadees (Poecile atricapillus) produce numerous vocalizations, including the acoustically complex chick-a-dee call that is composed of A, B, C, and D notes. D notes are longer in duration and lower in frequency than the other note types and contain information regarding flock and species identification. Adult wild-caught black-capped(More)
The hedonic principle maintains that humans strive to maximize pleasant feelings and avoid unpleasant feelings. Surprisingly, and contrary to hedonic logic, previous experiments have demonstrated a relationship between picture viewing time and arousal (activation) but not with valence (pleasure vs. displeasure), suggesting that arousal rather than the(More)