Research Topic

Dynamic Emotional Communication

About this Research Topic

This Research Topic aims to deepen our understanding of emotional communication by introducing "dynamic" perspectives.

Facial and bodily expressions of emotion functions as indispensable communicative signals for human beings. People decode the emotional information conveyed by facial/bodily expressions and use this to coordinate cooperative or competitive social relationships. Experimental psychological research has long investigated these important means of emotional communication. However, this was typically done by using static stimuli of facial/bodily expressions to assess the detection and interpretation of emotions. This paradigm was also adopted in neuropsychological, neurophysiological, and neuroimaging studies. Although researchers accumulated valuable information regarding the psychological and neural mechanisms underlying these processes, the static nature of the stimuli may have resulted in important phenomena remaining unexamined.

Recently, scientists have begun to explore dynamic emotional communication, in particular by using dynamic facial/bodily expressions of emotion, instead of static photographs, as stimuli. This is having important consequences for emotion research. As dynamic emotional expressions have increased ecological validity and as there are differences in the visual processing of dynamic and static information, a host of novel aspects of the psychological and neural processing of emotional expressions have been elucidated. For example, it has been shown that motor resonance and the recruitment of motor areas are fundamental to dynamic emotional communication. Researchers have also started to investigate the encoding of dynamic emotional interactions and have clarified the messages embedded in the temporal aspects and the patterns of reciprocal inter-individual coordination. Moreover, investigations of dynamic emotional communication have identified heretofore unrecognized impairments in the social functioning of individuals with psychiatric disorders, such as autism spectrum disorder and schizophrenia.

In this Research Topic, we would like to gather new psychological and neuroscientific studies regarding dynamic emotional communication. We welcome articles with a broad range of “dynamic” perspectives, such as those presenting dynamic facial/bodily expressions of emotion and analyzing the encoding of dynamic emotional expressions and actions. We welcome the following article types: original research, review, methods, hypothesis & theory, and perspective.


Keywords: body action, dynamic facial expression, emotion recognition, face-to-face (dyadic) communication, autism spectrum disorder


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.

This Research Topic aims to deepen our understanding of emotional communication by introducing "dynamic" perspectives.

Facial and bodily expressions of emotion functions as indispensable communicative signals for human beings. People decode the emotional information conveyed by facial/bodily expressions and use this to coordinate cooperative or competitive social relationships. Experimental psychological research has long investigated these important means of emotional communication. However, this was typically done by using static stimuli of facial/bodily expressions to assess the detection and interpretation of emotions. This paradigm was also adopted in neuropsychological, neurophysiological, and neuroimaging studies. Although researchers accumulated valuable information regarding the psychological and neural mechanisms underlying these processes, the static nature of the stimuli may have resulted in important phenomena remaining unexamined.

Recently, scientists have begun to explore dynamic emotional communication, in particular by using dynamic facial/bodily expressions of emotion, instead of static photographs, as stimuli. This is having important consequences for emotion research. As dynamic emotional expressions have increased ecological validity and as there are differences in the visual processing of dynamic and static information, a host of novel aspects of the psychological and neural processing of emotional expressions have been elucidated. For example, it has been shown that motor resonance and the recruitment of motor areas are fundamental to dynamic emotional communication. Researchers have also started to investigate the encoding of dynamic emotional interactions and have clarified the messages embedded in the temporal aspects and the patterns of reciprocal inter-individual coordination. Moreover, investigations of dynamic emotional communication have identified heretofore unrecognized impairments in the social functioning of individuals with psychiatric disorders, such as autism spectrum disorder and schizophrenia.

In this Research Topic, we would like to gather new psychological and neuroscientific studies regarding dynamic emotional communication. We welcome articles with a broad range of “dynamic” perspectives, such as those presenting dynamic facial/bodily expressions of emotion and analyzing the encoding of dynamic emotional expressions and actions. We welcome the following article types: original research, review, methods, hypothesis & theory, and perspective.


Keywords: body action, dynamic facial expression, emotion recognition, face-to-face (dyadic) communication, autism spectrum disorder


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.

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Submission Deadlines

01 February 2018 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

01 February 2018 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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