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      Body cues, not facial expressions, discriminate between intense positive and negative emotions.

      Science (New York, N.Y.)

      Young Adult, Perception, Male, Kinesics, Illusions, Humans, Female, Facial Expression, physiology, Emotions, Cues, Adolescent

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          Abstract

          The distinction between positive and negative emotions is fundamental in emotion models. Intriguingly, neurobiological work suggests shared mechanisms across positive and negative emotions. We tested whether similar overlap occurs in real-life facial expressions. During peak intensities of emotion, positive and negative situations were successfully discriminated from isolated bodies but not faces. Nevertheless, viewers perceived illusory positivity or negativity in the nondiagnostic faces when seen with bodies. To reveal the underlying mechanisms, we created compounds of intense negative faces combined with positive bodies, and vice versa. Perceived affect and mimicry of the faces shifted systematically as a function of their contextual body emotion. These findings challenge standard models of emotion expression and highlight the role of the body in expressing and perceiving emotions.

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          Most cited references 20

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          Facial expression and emotion.

           P Ekman (1993)
          Cross-cultural research on facial expression and the developments of methods to measure facial expression are briefly summarized. What has been learned about emotion from this work on the face is then elucidated. Four questions about facial expression and emotion are discussed: What information does an expression typically convey? Can there be emotion without facial expression? Can there be a facial expression of emotion without emotion? How do individuals differ in their facial expressions of emotion?
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            A common neurobiology for pain and pleasure.

            Pain and pleasure are powerful motivators of behaviour and have historically been considered opposites. Emerging evidence from the pain and reward research fields points to extensive similarities in the anatomical substrates of painful and pleasant sensations. Recent molecular-imaging and animal studies have demonstrated the important role of the opioid and dopamine systems in modulating both pain and pleasure. Understanding the mutually inhibitory effects that pain and reward processing have on each other, and the neural mechanisms that underpin such modulation, is important for alleviating unnecessary suffering and improving well-being.
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              • Record: found
              • Abstract: not found
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              An opponent-process theory of motivation: I. Temporal dynamics of affect.

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                10.1126/science.1224313
                23197536

                Chemistry

                Young Adult, Perception, Male, Kinesics, Illusions, Humans, Female, Facial Expression, physiology, Emotions, Cues, Adolescent

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