Cognitive Processing

, Volume 13, Supplement 1, pp 103–106

Enhanced embodied response following ambiguous emotional processing

  • Brice Beffara
  • Marc Ouellet
  • Nicolas Vermeulen
  • Anamitra Basu
  • Tiffany Morisseau
  • Martial Mermillod
Short Report

DOI: 10.1007/s10339-012-0468-6

Cite this article as:
Beffara, B., Ouellet, M., Vermeulen, N. et al. Cogn Process (2012) 13(Suppl 1): 103. doi:10.1007/s10339-012-0468-6

Abstract

It has generally been assumed that high-level cognitive and emotional processes are based on amodal conceptual information. In contrast, however, “embodied simulation” theory states that the perception of an emotional signal can trigger a simulation of the related state in the motor, somatosensory, and affective systems. To study the effect of social context on the mimicry effect predicted by the “embodied simulation” theory, we recorded the electromyographic (EMG) activity of participants when looking at emotional facial expressions. We observed an increase in embodied responses when the participants were exposed to a context involving social valence before seeing the emotional facial expressions. An examination of the dynamic EMG activity induced by two socially relevant emotional expressions (namely joy and anger) revealed enhanced EMG responses of the facial muscles associated with the related social prime (either positive or negative). These results are discussed within the general framework of embodiment theory.

Keywords

Embodiment theoryTop-down regulationElectromyographyVisual perceptionEmotional facial expressions

Copyright information

© Marta Olivetti Belardinelli and Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brice Beffara
    • 1
  • Marc Ouellet
    • 1
  • Nicolas Vermeulen
    • 2
    • 3
  • Anamitra Basu
    • 4
  • Tiffany Morisseau
    • 5
  • Martial Mermillod
    • 1
    • 6
    • 7
    • 8
  1. 1.Université Blaise Pascal, and CNRS, UMR 6024, Clermont UniversitéClermont-FerrandFrance
  2. 2.Psychology DepartmentUniversité Catholique de Louvain (UCL)Ottignies-Louvain-la-NeuveBelgium
  3. 3.Fund for Scientific Research (FRS-FNRS)BrusselsBelgium
  4. 4.Department of Humanities, Social Sciences and ManagementIIT BhubaneswarBhubaneswarIndia
  5. 5.L2C2–(CNRS UMR 5230), Institut des Sciences CognitivesBronFrance
  6. 6.Laboratoire de Psychologie et Neurocognition, UMR CNRS 5105Université Pierre Mendès-FranceGrenobleFrance
  7. 7.Institut Universitaire de FranceParisFrance
  8. 8.Laboratoire de Psychologie Sociale et Cognitive (LAPSCO)Université Blaise PascalClermont-FerrandFrance