About this Research Topic
The literature on the relationship between identity and expression processing in face perception has been developed on two fronts. The first concerns the relative independence of identity and expression processing and the second concerns the effect of the non-rigid transformation on identity recognition and the process of face learning. While substantial research has favored the former (Calder & Young, 2005), only a handful studies have been dedicated to the latter. Given the importance of understanding the challenge of facial expression for image-invariant recognition, the main purpose of this call is to bridge the gap in the literature.
Researchers have shown that facial expression can affect face recognition via perceived emotion and non-rigid transformation in various ways. One notable finding is that recognition impairment is dependent on the type of facial expression. It has been shown that happy faces are least affected by image transformation compared to some other expressions such as sadness, fear, and anger (D’Argembeau & Van der Linden, 2007, 2011). Another interesting finding is that long-term and short-term memory appears to be affected by different types of expression. Whereas faces with a happy expression are retained better than faces with a neutral (Baudouin et al., 2000) or angry expression in long-term memory (D’Argembeau et al., 2003; Savaskan et al., 2007), the same advantage was not found in a short-term memory task (Jackson, Wu, Linden, & Raymond, 2009) or a matching task (Chen, Lander, &Liu, 2011). Researchers have also investigated these effects in clinical populations. This has revealed that certain emotional disorders produce different patterns of results, e.g., greater sensitivity to sad faces in dysphoric participants (Noreen & Ridout, 2010); better identity recognition of angry faces in delusion-prone participants (Larøi et al., 2006); and equal ‘remember’ responses for happy and angry faces in participants with high level of social anxiety (D’Argembeau et al., 2003).
It has been proposed that the different effects of facial expressions on identity recognition in short- and long-term memory could be due to encoding or memory consolidation processes (Chen et al., 2011; Langeslag et al., 2009). Emotional faces processed at different processing stages may be associated with different social and adaptive values. However, the exact nature and details of these processes require further investigation. Moreover, it remains unclear how certain expressions affect identity recognition differently relative to others, because few studies have included a full range of basic emotional expressions. Another poorly understood area is the relative contribution from valence and physical features. Finally, few studies have investigated neural mechanisms of these effects.
The main interest of this topic is not simply whether the expression and identity processing interact. Rather the purpose is to identify what create such an interaction and how expression influences identity recognition. This call for papers welcomes contributions to this, and other related issues about the effect of expression on identity processing. All types of contribution including research reports, reviews or theoretical papers are welcomed.
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.