Superior Facial Expression, But Not Identity Recognition, in Mirror-Touch Synesthesia

Banissy, Michael J.; Garrido, Lúcia; Kusnir, Flor; Duchaine, Bradley; Walsh, Vincent and Ward, Jamie. 2011. Superior Facial Expression, But Not Identity Recognition, in Mirror-Touch Synesthesia. The Journal of Neuroscience, 31(5), pp. 1820-1824. ISSN 0270-6474 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Simulation models of expression recognition contend that to understand another's facial expressions, individuals map the perceived expression onto the same sensorimotor representations that are active during the experience of the perceived emotion. To investigate this view, the present study examines facial expression and identity recognition abilities in a rare group of participants who show facilitated sensorimotor simulation (mirror-touch synesthetes). Mirror-touch synesthetes experience touch on their own body when observing touch to another person. These experiences have been linked to heightened sensorimotor simulation in the shared-touch network (brain regions active during the passive observation and experience of touch). Mirror-touch synesthetes outperformed nonsynesthetic participants on measures of facial expression recognition, but not on control measures of face memory or facial identity perception. These findings imply a role for sensorimotor simulation processes in the recognition of facial affect, but not facial identity.

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Research Office > REF2014



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Date Deposited:

02 Jul 2012 07:46

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 15:33

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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