Next Article in Journal
Stability of Estimated Premorbid Cognitive Ability over Time after Minor Stroke and Its Relationship with Post-Stroke Cognitive Ability
Next Article in Special Issue
Electrophysiological Responses to Emotional Facial Expressions Following a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury
Previous Article in Journal
Epilepsy Detection by Using Scalogram Based Convolutional Neural Network from EEG Signals
Previous Article in Special Issue
The Motivational Power of the Happy Face
Open AccessArticle

Joint Modulation of Facial Expression Processing by Contextual Congruency and Task Demands

Facultad de Psicología, Universidad Complutense, 28223 Madrid, Spain
Department of Psychology, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1, Canada
Facultad de Psicología, Universidad Europea de Madrid, 28670 Madrid, Spain
Facultad de Lenguas y Educación, Universidad de Nebrija, 28015 Madrid, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Brain Sci. 2019, 9(5), 116;
Received: 15 April 2019 / Revised: 10 May 2019 / Accepted: 15 May 2019 / Published: 17 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Perceptual and Affective Mechanisms in Facial Expression Recognition)
Faces showing expressions of happiness or anger were presented together with sentences that described happiness-inducing or anger-inducing situations. Two main variables were manipulated: (i) congruency between contexts and expressions (congruent/incongruent) and (ii) the task assigned to the participant, discriminating the emotion shown by the target face (emotion task) or judging whether the expression shown by the face was congruent or not with the context (congruency task). Behavioral and electrophysiological results (event-related potentials (ERP)) showed that processing facial expressions was jointly influenced by congruency and task demands. ERP results revealed task effects at frontal sites, with larger positive amplitudes between 250–450 ms in the congruency task, reflecting the higher cognitive effort required by this task. Effects of congruency appeared at latencies and locations corresponding to the early posterior negativity (EPN) and late positive potential (LPP) components that have previously been found to be sensitive to emotion and affective congruency. The magnitude and spatial distribution of the congruency effects varied depending on the task and the target expression. These results are discussed in terms of the modulatory role of context on facial expression processing and the different mechanisms underlying the processing of expressions of positive and negative emotions. View Full-Text
Keywords: facial expressions; situational context; ERPs; N170; EPN; LPP facial expressions; situational context; ERPs; N170; EPN; LPP
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Aguado, L.; Parkington, K.B.; Dieguez-Risco, T.; Hinojosa, J.A.; Itier, R.J. Joint Modulation of Facial Expression Processing by Contextual Congruency and Task Demands. Brain Sci. 2019, 9, 116.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

Search more from Scilit
Back to TopTop