Literature review : facial expression processing - holistic or analytical?
Tan, Wei En
Date of Issue2017
College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences
Whether facial expressions are processed holistically or analytically is a topic where there is still no consensus in existing literature. This paper will attempt to clarify this question by examining several research areas. First, this paper will examine research that support holistic processing by demonstrating an integration of facial features in expressions. These demonstrations came from experimental tasks (mainly composite tasks; inversion tasks; tasks involved in detecting anti-expressions, categorical assignment). Next, research evidence for analytical processing of facial expressions will be discussed, such as the overly significant role of localized facial features in facial expressions and brain activation pattern of the superior temporal sulcus (STS). Finally, for a more holistic study on facial expression processing, this paper will attempt to establish the relationship of facial expressions processing with facial identity processing. This paper suggests that facial identity and facial expressions share an integrated processing pathway with a high degree of independence. This view is supported by a range of studies employing brain imaging and classification tasks, as well as from the field of neuropsychology. This paper concludes that it is likely that the processing of facial expressions employs both holistic and analytical processes, and will discuss the external factors which influence whether an expression is processed more holistically or analytically.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University