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Rapid Facial Reactions To Emotional Facial Expressions.

U. Dimberg, M. Thunberg
Published 1998 · Psychology, Medicine

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This study explored how rapidly emotion specific facial muscle reactions were elicited when subjects were exposed to pictures of angry and happy facial expressions. In three separate experiments, it was found that distinctive facial electromyographic reactions, i.e., greater Zygomaticus major muscle activity in response to happy than to angry stimuli and greater Corrugator supercilii muscle activity in response to angry stimuli, were detectable after only 300-400 ms of exposure. These findings demonstrate that facial reactions are quickly elicited, indicating that expressive emotional reactions can be very rapidly manifested and are perhaps controlled by fast operating facial affect programs.



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