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By Paul Bloom & Barbara L. Finlay (Editors)

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Additional resources for Behavioral and Brain Sciences, Volume 33, Issue 6, December 2010

Sample text

A possible source of differential self-relevance processing as a function of gaze and emotion is ontogenetic development. Indeed, it has been argued that an early sensitivity to eye contact serves as a major foundation for later development of social skills (Csibra & Gergely 2009). In line with this view, the processing relative to averted gaze perception seems to emerge several weeks after the initial sensitivity to eye contact. Only by the age of 3 months do infants show the ability to automatically follow another’s eye gaze toward the surrounding space (D’Entremont et al.

For instance, observation of an elderly man holding the hand of his dying wife may elicit a response of “feeling sad,” prompting the observers to search for signs of sadness in the target facial expression. Earlier simulation models for emotion recognition propose facial mimicry contributes to recognition of facial expressions (Goldman & Sripada 2005); however, there is limited support for this claim (Blairy et al. 1999; Hess & Blairy 2001), and imaging studies measuring motor activity seldom test for accuracy in judgments (Carr et al.

2). Hence, if recognition is achieved, it must be by some means other than embodied simulation. Niedenthal et al. suggest this could be achieved by matching visual input to a stored perceptual representation. If we sometimes have recourse to this strategy, why don’t we always use this strategy? Niedenthal et al. go on to allow that embodied simulation could still occur in this scenario, but it would have to be triggered by the use of conceptual knowledge since it does not arise from eye contact.

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Behavioral and Brain Sciences, Volume 33, Issue 6, December 2010 by Paul Bloom & Barbara L. Finlay (Editors)

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