Comptes Rendus de l'Académie des Sciences. Série III, Sciences de la Vie vol:322 issue:8 pages:669-675
A two-process probabilistic theory of emotion perception based on a nonlinear combination of facial features is presented. Assuming that the upper and the lower part of the face function as the building blocks at the basis of emotion perception, an empirical test is provided with fear and happiness as target emotions. Subjects were presented with prototypical fearful and happy faces and with computer-generated chimerical expressions that were a combination of happy and fearful. Subjects were asked to indicate the emotions they perceive using an extensive list of emotions. We show that some emotions require a conjunction of the two halves of a face to be perceived, whereas for some other emotions only one half is sufficient. We demonstrate that chimerical faces give rise to the perception of genuine emotions. The findings provide evidence that different combinations of the two halves of a fearful and a happy face, either congruent or not, do generate the perception of emotions other than fear and happiness. (C) Academie des Sciences/Elsevier, Paris.