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Emotional empathy as related to mimicry reactions at different levels of information

Sonnby-Borgström, Marianne LU ; Jönsson, Peter LU and Svensson, Owe LU (2003) In Journal of Nonverbal Behavior 27(1). p.3-23
Abstract
The hypotheses of this investigation were based on conceiving of facial mimicry reactions in face-to-face interactions as an early automatic component in the process of emotional empathy. Differences between individuals high and low in emotional empathy were investigated. The parameters compared were facial mimicry reactions, as represented by electromyographic (EMG) activity, when individuals were exposed to pictures of angry or happy faces. The present study distinguished between spontaneous facial reactions and facial expressions associated with more controlled or modulated emotions at different information processing levels, first at a preattentive level and then consecutively at more consciously controlled levels: 61 participants were... (More)
The hypotheses of this investigation were based on conceiving of facial mimicry reactions in face-to-face interactions as an early automatic component in the process of emotional empathy. Differences between individuals high and low in emotional empathy were investigated. The parameters compared were facial mimicry reactions, as represented by electromyographic (EMG) activity, when individuals were exposed to pictures of angry or happy faces. The present study distinguished between spontaneous facial reactions and facial expressions associated with more controlled or modulated emotions at different information processing levels, first at a preattentive level and then consecutively at more consciously controlled levels: 61 participants were exposed to pictures at three different exposure times (17, 56, and 2350 ms). A significant difference in facial mimicry reactions between high- and low-empathy participants emerged at short exposure times (56 ms), representing automatic, spontaneous reactions, with high-empathy participants showing a significant mimicking reaction. The low-empathy participants did not display mimicking at any exposure time. On the contrary, the low-empathy participants showed, in response to angry faces, a tendency to an elevated activation in the cheek region, which often is associated with smiling. (Less)
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author
organization
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type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
EMG - emotional contagion - empathy - facial expressions - facial mimicry - mirror neurons
in
Journal of Nonverbal Behavior
volume
27
issue
1
pages
3 - 23
publisher
Springer
external identifiers
  • wos:000183211800001
  • scopus:0347755018
ISSN
1573-3653
DOI
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
5c06ef80-0ca0-437c-90bc-55995698a119 (old id 921284)
date added to LUP
2008-01-28 16:24:34
date last changed
2018-06-17 04:02:12
@article{5c06ef80-0ca0-437c-90bc-55995698a119,
  abstract     = {The hypotheses of this investigation were based on conceiving of facial mimicry reactions in face-to-face interactions as an early automatic component in the process of emotional empathy. Differences between individuals high and low in emotional empathy were investigated. The parameters compared were facial mimicry reactions, as represented by electromyographic (EMG) activity, when individuals were exposed to pictures of angry or happy faces. The present study distinguished between spontaneous facial reactions and facial expressions associated with more controlled or modulated emotions at different information processing levels, first at a preattentive level and then consecutively at more consciously controlled levels: 61 participants were exposed to pictures at three different exposure times (17, 56, and 2350 ms). A significant difference in facial mimicry reactions between high- and low-empathy participants emerged at short exposure times (56 ms), representing automatic, spontaneous reactions, with high-empathy participants showing a significant mimicking reaction. The low-empathy participants did not display mimicking at any exposure time. On the contrary, the low-empathy participants showed, in response to angry faces, a tendency to an elevated activation in the cheek region, which often is associated with smiling.},
  author       = {Sonnby-Borgström, Marianne and Jönsson, Peter and Svensson, Owe},
  issn         = {1573-3653},
  keyword      = {EMG - emotional contagion - empathy - facial expressions - facial mimicry - mirror neurons},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {3--23},
  publisher    = {Springer},
  series       = {Journal of Nonverbal Behavior},
  title        = {Emotional empathy as related to mimicry reactions at different levels of information},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/},
  volume       = {27},
  year         = {2003},
}