The way we process and evaluate other’s faces depends not only on the face alone, but also on the situational context, our goals and experiences, and what we know about the person. In this symposium five talks highlight different aspects of face processing in context, ranging from task-related over knowledge-based effects to encounters in real-life situations. Enya Weidner presents data from intracranial amygdala recordings investigating the mechanisms and time-course underlying the interaction of goal-directed attention and emotional processing. Employing ERPs, the next talks focus on how learning history shapes face processing. Anne Schacht shows how expression-induced salience and learning through conditioning modulate the processing of faces. Next, Julia Baum shows how more complex learning of verbal emotional information influences the processing of faces varying in attractiveness. Zooming out, we ask whether our understanding of face and emotion processing can benefit from putting faces back onto the body – as in real-life situations. Kirsten Stark used videos of real-life intense emotional reactions to show how the affective valence communicated by the body interacts with the recognition of facial expressions. Noga Ensenberg then provides evidence on how strongly the context influences what we read from a face depends on individual differences between perceivers. Taken together, our symposium challenges the traditional assumption that faces are processed in relative isolation, demonstrating a wide range of contextual influences.

Zeitfenster der Veranstaltung (1)

Attention and perception

Chair(s): Julia Baum (Berlin), Rasha Abdel Rahman (Berlin)

Presenter(s): Enya M. Weidner (Bielefeld), Annekathrin Schacht (Göttingen), Julia Baum (Berlin), Kirsten Stark (Berlin), Noga Ensenberg (Jerusalem, Israel)