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Neural systems for social judgments from movement cues: dissociations between emotion and personality attribution.

Andrea Heberlein

Thursday, November 11, 2004, 12:00pm - 07:00pm

University of Pennsylvania, Center for Cognitive Neuroscience

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 Judging another person's emotions based on nonverbal behavior (e.g., faces, vocal prosody) is known to rely partly on somatosensory cortices in the right hemisphere.  This finding has been interpreted as supporting simulationist models of emotion recognition.  In this task I'll discuss further evidence for the involvement of right somatosensory structures in emotion recognition, in this case from body movement cues.  In addition, I'll use findings from both neuropsychological (lesion) and neuroimaging (fMRI) studies to compare and contrast emotion judgments  (e.g., is this person sad or happy?) and personality trait judgments (e.g., is this person outgoing or shy?), using the same nonverbal cues.  Finally, time permitting, I'll discuss data from another type of movement stimulus, animated geometric objects, and attempt to relate emotion recognition processes to attribution of animacy and anthropomorphizing.

Andrea Heberlein