Motion Capture and Emotion: Affect Detection in Whole Body Movement

  • Elizabeth Crane
  • Melissa Gross
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4738)


Bodily expression of felt emotion was associated with emotion-specific changes in gait parameters and kinematics. The emotions angry, sad, content, joy and no emotion at all were elicited in forty-two undergraduates (22 female, 20 male; 20.1±2.7 yrs) while video and whole body motion capture data (120 Hz) were acquired. Participants completed a self-report of felt emotion after each trial. To determine whether the walkers’ felt emotions were recognizable in their body movements, video clips of the walkers were shown to 60 undergraduates (29 female, 31 male; 20.9±2.7 yrs). After viewing each video clip, observers selected one of 10 emotions that they thought the walker experienced during the trial. This study provides evidence that emotions can be successfully elicited in the laboratory setting, emotions can be recognized in the body movements of others, and that body movements are affected by felt emotions.


Affect Detection Motion Capture Posture Whole body movement Emotion Kinematics 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Atkinson, A.P., Tunstall, M.L., Dittrich, W.H.: Evidence for distinct contributions of form and motion information to the recognition of emotions from body gestures. Cognition 104, 59–72 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Pollick, F.E., Paterson, H.M., Bruderlin, A., Sanford, A.J.: Perceiving affect from arm movement. Cognition 82, 51–61 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Montepare, J.M., Goldstein, S.B., Clausen, A.: The identification of emotions from gait information. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior 11, 33–42 (1987)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Wallbott, H.G.: Bodily expression of emotion. European Journal of Social Psychology 28, 879–896 (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Coulson, M.: Attributing emotion to static body postures: Recognition accuracy, confusions, and viewpoint dependence. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior 28, 117–139 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    de Gelder, B., Snyder, J., Greve, D., Gerard, G., Hadjikhani, N.: Fear fosters flight: A mechanism for fear contagion when perceiving emotion expressed by a whole body. PNAS 101, 16701–16706 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Sprengelmeyer, R., Young, A.W., Schroeder, U., Grossenbacher, P.G., Federlein, J.: Knowing no fear. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. Biological Sciences 266, 2451–2451 (1999)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    de Gelder, B.: Toward a biological theory of emotional body language. Biological Theory 1, 130–132 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Grezes, J., Pichon, S., de Gelder, B.: Perceiving fear in dynamic body expressions. NeuroImage 35, 959–967 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Healy, H., Williams, M.G., Dalgleish, T., Power, M.J.: Autobiographical memory. Handbook of cognition and emotion, pp. 229–242. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester (1999)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Cappozzo, A., Della Croce, U., Leardini, A., Chiari, L.: Human movement analysis using stereophotogrammetry: Part 1: theoretical background. Gait & Posture 21, 186–196 (2005)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elizabeth Crane
    • 1
  • Melissa Gross
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Kinesiology, University of Michigan, 401 Washtenaw Ave, Ann Arbor, MIUSA

Personalised recommendations