The Research

Emotions influence everything: what we notice, what we attend to, process, remember, recall, opine, plan and do. While every emotional stimulus is capable of being noticed and attended to, there are conflicting findings regarding the extent to which they are cognitively processed, stored and retrieved.

We have compiled a compendium of abstracts to what we believe are the most relevant and important published studies that pertain to the practice of facial electromyography, the use of emotional valence measures, and their applications in neuromarketing and consumer psychology research.

We hope the abstracts will give you a good sense of the content of the articles so you can decide if you would like to review an article in full. We hope, too, that our assemblage of the abstracts will lead to better understanding of what facial electromyography is about and, in turn, how it can be used to advance how content is developed and evaluated.


  1. A Comparison of Self-reported Emotional and Implicit Responses to Aromas in Beer
    Beyts, C., Chaya, C., Dehrmann, F., James, S., Smart, K.,  Hort, J. Food Quality and Preference, Vol. 59 (1) (2017)
    In this study physiological response and facial expression along with self reported emotional response and conventional hedonic liking measures towards a range of pleasant, unpleasant and neutral aromas within beer were evaluated. Physiological measures included heart rate and skin temperature, whilst facial expression was assessed by measuring corrugator supercilli and zygomatic major muscle activity using facial electromyography. Self-reported emotional response was recorded using a beer specific emotional lexicon. No differences in heart rate and skin temperature were observed in response to presentation of any of the aromas. Facial expression measures found that corrugator supercilli and zygomatic major activity changed in response to unpleasant and pleasant or unpleasant and neutral samples respectively. Liking scores were found to distinguish between more aromas than facial expression measures, allowing distinction between pleasant and neutral samples. Self-reported emotional response was found to be more discriminating than both liking and facial expression measures, allowing discrimination between pleasant and neutral samples as well as between the pleasant samples themselves. The ability for self-reported emotional response to distinguish between pleasant aromas is of particular interest to industry where commercial products may be poorly discriminated on the basis of liking alone. However further work to understand the contribution of implicit measures to understanding emotional response, in particular their association with explicit measures and their representation of unconscious response is required.
  2. How Reliable Are “State-of-the-Art” Facial EMG Processing Methods?
    Lajante, M., Droulers, O., Amarantini, D. Journal of Advertising Research Vol. 57 (1) (2017)
    Advertising researchers have highlighted how electrophysiological methods can improve the understanding of consumers’ emotional experiences, yet few published methodological studies draw the necessary guidelines to obtain reliable results. In this technical note, the authors propose a template for what they believe provides reliable applications of facial electromyography (EMG) in advertising research. Their method includes five steps to provide continuous quantification of signal processing from facial EMG data. A comparison of the authors’ method with seminal research underscored the importance of choosing appropriate procedures and parameters for accurate signal acquisition and reliable data processing in order to evaluate facial EMG responses.
  3. Emotional Responses to Irony and Emoticons in Written Language: Evidence from EDA and Facial EMG
    Thompson, D., Mackenzie, I., Leuthold, H., Filik, R. Psychophysiology Vol 54 (6) (2106)
    While the basic nature of irony is saying one thing and communicating the opposite, it may also serve additional social and emotional functions, such as projecting humor or anger. Emoticons often accompany irony in computer-mediated communication, and have been suggested to increase enjoyment of communication. In the current study, we aimed to examine online emotional responses to ironic versus literal comments, and the influence of emoticons on this process. Participants read stories with a final comment that was either ironic or literal, praising or critical, and with or without an emoticon. We used psychophysiological measures to capture immediate emotional responses: electrodermal activity to directly measure arousal and facial electromyography to detect muscle movements indicative of emotional expressions. Results showed higher arousal, reduced frowning, and enhanced smiling for messages with rather than without an emoticon, suggesting that emoticons increase positive emotions. A tendency toward less negative responses (i.e., reduced frowning and enhanced smiling) for ironic than literal criticism, and less positive responses (i.e., enhanced frowning and reduced smiling) for ironic than literal praise suggests that irony weakens the emotional impact of a message. The present findings indicate the utility of a psychophysiological approach in studying online emotional responses to written language.
  4. Affective Computing and the Impact of Gender and Age
    Rukavina, S., Gruss, S., Hoffmann, H., Tan, J., Walter, S., Traue, H. Plos One Vol. 11 (3) (2016)
    Affective computing aims at the detection of users’ mental states, in particular, emotions and dispositions during human-computer interactions. Detection can be achieved by measuring multimodal signals, namely, speech, facial expressions and/or psychobiology. Over the past years, one major approach was to identify the best features for each signal using different classification methods. Although this is of high priority, other subject-specific variables should not be neglected. In our study, we analyzed the effect of gender, age, personality and gender roles on the extracted psychobiological features (derived from skin conductance level, facial electromyography and heart rate variability) as well as the influence on the classification results. In an experimental human-computer interaction, five different affective states with picture material from the International Affective Picture System and ULM pictures were induced. A total of 127 subjects participated in the study. Among all potentially influencing variables (gender has been reported to be influential), age was the only variable that correlated significantly with psychobiological responses. In summary, the conducted classification processes resulted in 20% classification accuracy differences according to age and gender, especially when comparing the neutral condition with four other affective states. We suggest taking age and gender specifically into account for future studies in affective computing, as these may lead to an improvement of emotion recognition accuracy.
  5. Recognition of Intensive Valence and Arousal Affective States via Facial Electromyographic Activity in Young and Senior Adults
    Tan, J., Andrade, A., Li, H. Walter, S., Hrabal, D., Rukavina, S., Limbrecht-Ecklundt, K., Hoffman, H., Traue, H. Plos One Vol. 11 (1) (2016)
    Numerous studies have investigated the effects of valence emotions on facial EMG activity captured over the corrugator supercilii (frowning muscle) and zygomaticus major (smiling muscle). The arousal emotion, specifically, has not received much research attention, however. In the present study, we sought to identify intensive valence and arousal affective states via facial EMG activity. We observed highly accurate classification rates based on the combined corrugator and zygomaticus EMG, ranging from 75.69% to 100.00% for the baseline and five affective states (0VLA, PVHA, PVLA, NVHA, and NVLA) in all individuals. There were significant differences in classification rate accuracy between senior and young adults, but there was no significant difference between female and male participants.
  6. Neuroscience in Marketing: Assessment of Advertisement Memory by means of Facial Muscles Movement Analysis
    Utkutug Bozoklu, C., Alkibay, S.  Journal of Neurological Sciences – Turkish Vol. 33 (1) (2016).
    The neuromarketing literature assumes that ad contents inducing intense affective responses influence positively ad memory. The aim of this research is to analyze ad memory depending on affective responses towards ads by facial muscles movement analysis. It is an advantageous method for analyzing the effectiveness of ad contents and ad strategies on ad memory. The experiment lasts only during the exposure of advertisement and it does not demand any statistical excellence in the analyzing stage. Therefore, this method is recommended to businesses, which execute their marketing researches by themselves.
  7. Using Facial EMG and Eye Tracking to Study Integral Affect in Discrete Choice Experiments
    Rasch, C., Louviere, J., Teichert, T. Journal of Choice Modeling Vol. 14 (2015)
    Although affect has been found to be an integral part of decision-making, it is largely ignored in the consumer choice modeling literature. Rational choice assumptions continue to be dominant in discrete choice experiments (DCEs). One reason why affect has been ignored is that immediate affect during the choice process cannot be “seen” or measured easily. Consequently, most prior work on affect focuses on self-reports, which may be unreliable and merely self-justifications. Thus, we do not know whether immediate affect actually plays a key role in consumer choices. We addressed this gap by testing whether immediate affect can be observed in fairly trivial choices, and we tried to identify the drivers of and contexts in which affect occurs. We used a novel combination of eye tracking and facial electromyography (fEMG) methods to observe and measure integral affect for each choice option in a DCE. Results indicate the feasibility of the combination of eye tracking and fEMG during DCEs, the existence of affect in stated choice experiments for fairly trivial product categories, and provide insights into drivers and contexts of affective choice processes. Among others, best and worst task frames show to influence integral affect in DCEs. Findings stress the need for future joint investigations of cognitive and affective processes in consumer choice tasks. Better understanding of these processes should lead to valuable insights into how real-time marketing actions influence decisions, ways to improve the predictive performance of choice models, and novel ways to help consumers and organizations make better decisions.
  8. From Sound to Significance: Exploring the Mechanisms Underlying Emotional Reactions to Music
    Juslin, P., Barradas, G., Eerola, T. The American Journal of Psychology, Vol. 128(3) (2015)
    A common approach to studying emotional reactions to music is to attempt to obtain direct links between musical surface features such as tempo and a listener’s responses. However, such an analysis ultimately fails to explain why emotions are aroused in the listener. In this article we explore an alternative approach, which aims to account for musical emotions in terms of a set of psychological mechanisms that are activated by different types of information in a musical event. This approach was tested in 4 experiments that manipulated 4 mechanisms (brain stem reflex, contagion, episodic memory, musical expectancy) by selecting existing musical pieces that featured information relevant for each mechanism. The excerpts were played to 60 listeners, who were asked to rate their felt emotions on 15 scales. Skin conductance levels and facial expressions were measured, and listeners reported subjective impressions of relevance to specific mechanisms. Results indicated that the target mechanism conditions evoked emotions largely as predicted by a Multimechanism framework and that mostly similar effects occurred across the experiments that included different pieces of music. We conclude that a satisfactory account of musical emotions requires consideration of how musical features and responses are mediated by a range of underlying mechanisms.
  9. Learning When Serious: Psychophysiological Evaluation of a Technology-Enhanced Learning Game
    Cowley, B., Fantato, M., Jennett, C., Ruskov, M., and Ravaja, N. Journal of Educational Technology & Society, Vol. 17(1) (2014)
    We report an evaluation study for a novel learning platform, motivated by the growing need for methods to do assessment of serious game efficacy. The study was a laboratory experiment combining evaluation methods from the fields of learning assessment and psychophysiology. 15 participants used the TARGET game platform for 25 minutes, while the bio-signals electrocardiography, electrodermal activity and facial electromyography were recorded. Learning was scored using pre- and post-test question-based assessments Repeated-measures analysis with Generalised Estimating Equations was used to predict scores by tonic psychophysiological data. Results indicate some learning effect, plus a relationship between mental workload (indexed by electrocardiography) and learning. Notably, the game format itself influences the nature of this relationship. We conclude that a high quality of insight is afforded by the combination of subjective self-report and objective psychophysiology, satisfying two of three observable domains.
  10. Motivated Selective Attention During Political Ad Processing: The Dynamic Interplay Between Emotional Ad Content and Candidate Evaluation
    Wang, Z., Morey, A. C., Srivastava, J. Communication Research, Vol. 41(1) (2014)
    This study examines the dynamic, real-time interplay between the emotional content of political television ads and individuals’ political attitudes during ad processing based upon the Dynamic Motivational Activation (DMA) theoretical framework. Time-series cross-sectional models were developed to test the effects of three motivational inputs of emotional ads (arousing content, positivity, and negativity) and viewers’ evaluation of the featured candidates on four psychophysiological responses (heart rate, skin conductance level, corrugator electromyography, and zygomatic electromyography). As predicted by the DMA, physiological responses during ad viewing were affected by their own first- and second-order dynamic system feedback effects. These results not only support the predicted dynamic nature of the physiological system but also help disentangle message effects from the moderating and accumulating effects of the physiological system itself. Also as predicted, message motivational inputs interacted with viewers’ political attitudes to determine psychophysiological responses to the ads. Supporters of opposing political candidates showed cardiac-somatic response patterns indicative of disparate attention to the advertised information. Attentional selectivity can be a critical component in determining how information processing influences campaign message reception and effects.
  11. Purchase Behavior and Psychophysiological Responses to Different Price Levels
    Somervuori, O., Ravaja, N. Psychology & Marketing, Vol. 30(6) (2013)
    The aim of the study was to examine emotional processes when product prices for different brands were changed. In a within-subjects design, the participants were presented purchase decision trials with 14 different products (seven private label and seven national brand products) whose price levels were changed while their facial electromyography (EMG) and electrodermal activity were recorded. The results suggest that low prices and national brand products induce higher positive emotions indexed with zygomatic EMG compared to high prices and private label products. Also, positive emotions are related to greater purchase intent. Naturally, a low price has also a direct positive influence on purchase intent. However, the involvement of emotions and the influence that price and brand have on elicitation of emotions may be one explanation for consumers’ varying purchase behavior. The results highlight the importance of emotional factors in pricing research and support the usefulness of psychophysiological measures in the consumer research.
  12. Repeatability of Facial Electromyography (EMG) Activity over Corrugator Supercilii and Zygomaticus Major on Differentiating Various Emotions
    Tan, J., Walter, S., Scheck, A., Hrabal, D., Hoffmann, H., Kessler, H., Traue, H. Journal of Ambient Intelligence and Humanized Computing Vol 3 (1) (2012)
    Recent affective computing findings indicated that effectively identifying users’ emotional responses is an important issue to improve the quality of ambient intelligence. In the current study, two bipolar facial electromyography (EMG) channels over corrugator supercilii and zygomaticus major were employed for differentiating various emotional states in two dimensions of valence (negative, neutral and positive) and arousal (high and low) while participants looked at affective visual stimuli. The results demonstrated that corrugator EMG and zygomaticus EMG efficiently differentiated negative and positive emotions from others, respectively. Moreover, corrugator EMG discriminated emotions on valence clearly, whereas zygomaticus EMG was ambiguous in neutral and negative emotional states. However, there was no significant statistical evidence for the discrimination of facial EMG responses in the dimension of arousal. Furthermore, correlation analysis proved significant correlations between facial EMG activities and ratings of valence performed by participants and other samples, which strongly supported the consistency of facial EMG reactions and subjective emotional experiences. In addition, the repeatability of facial EMG indicated by intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) were provided, in which corrugator EMG held an excellent level of repeatability, and zygomaticus EMG grasped only a poor level of repeatability. Considering these results, facial EMG is reliable and effective to identify negative and positive emotional experiences elicited by affective visual stimuli, which may offer us an alternative method in building a basis for automated classification of users’ affective states in various situations.
  13. Sociality of Facial Expressions in Immersive Virtual Environments: A Facial EMG Study
    Philipp, M. C., Storrs, K. R., Vanman, E. J. Biological Psychology, Vol. 91(1) (2012)
    Immersive virtual environment technology is increasingly used by psychologists as a tool for researching social influence in realistic, yet experimentally controllable, settings. The present study demonstrates the validity and reliability of facial electromyography as a marker of affect in immersive virtual environments and further shows that the mere presence of virtual humans is enough to elicit sociality effects on facial expressiveness. Participants viewed pleasant and unpleasant images in a virtual room either alone or with two virtual humans present. The patterns of smiling and frowning activity elicited by positive and negative stimuli in the virtual environment were the same as those found in laboratory settings. Moreover, when viewing positive stimuli, smiling activity was greater when two agents were present than in the alone condition. The results provide new psychophysiological evidence for the potency of social agents in immersive virtual environments.
  14. Which Broadcast Medium Better Drives Engagement?
    Peacock, James, Purvis, Scott, Hazlett, Richard L. Journal Of Advertising Research, Vol. 51(4) (2011)
    This study compared the ability of radio and television advertisements to generate emotional responses and engage consumers. It did so using advanced physiological methods that measure emotional activation in ways that do not require verbal responses. Sixteen different real advertising campaigns were evaluated with 80 consumers watching television and 80 listening to radio programming with embedded commercials. Radio and television evoked positive emotion about equally, but television advertising generated a slightly higher negative emotional reaction. Positive emotion and brand recall were found to be positively correlated, with the relationship stronger for radio than for television.
  15. Objective Measures of Emotion Related to Brand Attitude: A New Way to Quantify Emotion-Related Aspects Relevant to Marketing
    Walla, P., Brenner, G., Koller, M. Plos ONE, Vol. 6(11) (2011)
    This study tests the hypothesis that individual like and dislike as occurring in relation to brand attitude can be objectively assessed. First, individuals rated common brands with respect to subjective preference. Then, they volunteered in an experiment during which their most liked and disliked brand names were visually presented while three different objective measures were taken. Participant’s eye blinks as responses to acoustic startle probes were registered with electromyography (EMG) (i) and their skin conductance (ii) and their heart rate (iii) were recorded. The study found significantly reduced eye blink amplitudes related to liked brand names compared to disliked brand names. This finding suggests that visual perception of liked brand names elicits higher degrees of pleasantness, more positive emotion and approach-oriented motivation than visual perception of disliked brand names. Also, skin conductance and heart rate were both reduced in case of liked versus disliked brand names. The researchers concluded that all their physiological measures highlight emotion-related differences depending on the like and dislike toward individual brands. They suggest that objective measures should be used more frequently to quantify emotion-related aspects of brand attitude. In particular, there might be potential interest to introduce startle reflex modulation to measure emotion-related impact during product development, product design and various further fields relevant to marketing. Their findings are discussed in relation to the idea that self reported measures are most often cognitively polluted.
  16. Simultaneous Acquisition of Corrugator Electromyography and Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging: A New Method for Objectively Measuring Affect and Neural Activity Concurrently
    Heller, A. S., Greischar, L. L., Honor, A., Anderle, M. J., Davidson, R. J. Neuroimage, Vol. 58(3) (2011)
    The development of functional neuroimaging of emotion holds the promise to enhance our understanding of the biological bases of affect and improve our knowledge of psychiatric diseases. However, up to this point, researchers have been unable to objectively, continuously and unobtrusively measure the intensity and dynamics of affect concurrently with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). This has hindered the development and generalizability of our field. Facial electromyography (EMG) is an objective, reliable, valid, sensitive, and unobtrusive measure of emotion. This study reports the successful development of a method for simultaneously acquiring fMRI and facial EMG. The ability to simultaneously acquire brain activity and facial physiology will allow affective neuroscientists to address theoretical, psychiatric, and individual difference questions in a more rigorous and generalizable way.
  17. Smile to See the Forest: Facially Expressed Positive Emotions Broaden Cognition
    Johnson, K. J., Waugh, C. E., Fredrickson, B. L. Cognition & Emotion, Vol. 24(2) (2010)
    The broaden hypothesis, part of Fredrickson’s (1998, 2001) broaden-and-build theory, proposes that positive emotions lead to broadened cognitive states. This study presents evidence that cognitive broadening can be produced by frequent facial expressions of positive emotion. Additionally, the study presents a novel method of using facial electromyography (EMG) to discriminate between Duchenne (genuine) and non-Duchenne (non-genuine) smiles. Across experiments, Duchenne smiles occurred more frequently during positive emotion inductions than neutral or negative inductions. Across experiments, Duchenne smiles correlated with self-reports of specific positive emotions. In Experiment 1, high frequencies of Duchenne smiles predicted increased attentional breadth on a global-local visual processing task. In Experiment 2, high frequencies of Duchenne smiles predicted increased attentional flexibility on a covert attentional orienting task. These data underscore the value of using multiple methods to measure emotional experience in studies of emotion and cognition.
  18. An Electromyographic Investigation of the Impact of Task Relevance on Facial Mimicry
    Canon, Peter. R., Hayes, Amy E., Tipper, Steven, P. Cognition and Emotion, Vol. 23(5) (Aug 2009)
    When viewing a face expressing emotion, the viewer’s face mimics the same emotion. It is unknown whether such facial mimicry takes place when the viewed emotion is a task irrelevant property of the face. The present experiment addressed this question by asking participants to judge either the emotional expression or the color of a series of happy and angry faces that were either blue or yellow. Electromyographical recordings showed that when emotion was ignored, there was a tendency for facial muscle activity to be suppressed. Nonetheless, participants’ facial expressions mimicked target expressions, with the zygomaticus cheek muscle being more active when viewing a smiling face and the corrugator brow muscle more active when viewing an angry face. These data tend to support the automatic encoding of irrelevant emotional information, as well as suppression of emotional information by selective attention.
  19. An Electromyographic Investigation of the Impact of Task Relevance on Facial Mimicry
    Canon, Peter. R., Hayes, Amy E., Tipper, Steven, P. Cognition and Emotion, Vol. 23(5) (Aug 2009)
    When viewing a face expressing emotion, the viewer’s face mimics the same emotion. It is unknown whether such facial mimicry takes place when the viewed emotion is a task irrelevant property of the face. The present experiment addressed this question by asking participants to judge either the emotional expression or the color of a series of happy and angry faces that were either blue or yellow. Electromyographical recordings showed that when emotion was ignored, there was a tendency for facial muscle activity to be suppressed. Nonetheless, participants’ facial expressions mimicked target expressions, with the zygomaticus cheek muscle being more active when viewing a smiling face and the corrugator brow muscle more active when viewing an angry face. These data tend to support the automatic encoding of irrelevant emotional information, as well as suppression of emotional information by selective attention.
  20. A Facial Electromyographic Investigation of Affective Contrast
    Larsen, Jeff T., Norris, J. Ian, Pyschophysiology, Vol. 46(4) (Jul 2009)
    Affective contrast refers to the tendency for stimuli to be judged as less evocative when preceded by more evocative same valence stimuli. The authors used facial electromyographic (EMG) activity over corrugator supercilii, which is inversely related to affective valence, to determine if context influences underlying affective reactions. In Experiment 1, moderately pleasant pictures elicited less activity over corrugator supercilii when they were embedded among mildly pleasant, as opposed to extremely pleasant, pictures. In Experiment 2,moderately pleasant pictures elicited less activity over corrugator supercilii when they were embedded among mildly valent (i.e., pleasant and unpleasant), as opposed to extremely valent, pictures; moderately unpleasant pictures elicited comparable EMG activity regardless of context. Results indicate that context can influence affective reactions underlying affective judgments of moderately pleasant stimuli.
  21. Analysis of Neurophysiological Reactions to Advertising Stimuli by Means of EEG and Galvanic Skin Response Measures
    Ohme, Rafal, Reykowska, Dorota, Wiener, Dawid, Choromanska, Anna, Journal of Neuroscience, Pyschology and Economics, Vol. 2(1) (May 2009)
    The authors discuss a particular research case concerning the analysis of a skin care product advertisement. Pretests of 2 versions of this TV ad revealed that, although the versions were almost identical, each of them generated significantly different impact. Their influence was assessed using both cognitive measures (benefits and key benefits recall) and behavioral measures (shelf test). The only difference between these 2 versions of the ad was in a single scene that contained a particular gesture by a female model. Of note, the gesture appeared to enhance the effectiveness of the ad. The authors tested whether neurophysiological measures can capture differences in consumer reactions to slightly different marketing stimuli. Indeed, by using electroencephalography and electromyography and by monitoring skin conductance, the authors were able to register significant differences in neurophysiological reactions to an altered scene, even though the difference was not consciously seen.
  22. Valence Lasts Longer than Arousal: Persistence of Induced Moods as Assessed by Psychophysiological Measures
    Gomez, P., Zimmerman, P.G. and Guttormsen Schar, S., Danuser, B. Journal of Psychophysiology Vol. 23(1) (2009)
    How long induced moods last is a critical question for mood research. In particular, physiological parameters have rarely been included to assess the effectiveness of mood induction procedures. The authors investigated the persistence of four different moods (positive high-arousal, positive low-arousal, negative high-arousal, and negative low-arousal) induced by film clips during a computer task. They measured subjective affective state, respiration, skin conductance level (SCL), heart rate, and corrugator activity. People who watched the two negative clips reported more negative valence after the task and showed more facial frowning and lower SCL during the task than people who watched the two positive clips. No arousal effects persisted throughout the task. The authors suggest that induced changes in the valence dimension of moods are maintained throughout an intervening task and are physiologically best reflected by corrugator activity and SCL, whereas induced changes in the arousal dimension dissipate quickly.
  23. Enhanced Facial EMG Activity in Response to Dynamic Facial Expressions
    Wataru, S., Fujimura, T. and Suzuki, N. International Journal of Psychophysiology Vol. 70(1) (October 2008)
    The suggestion that dynamic facial expressions of emotion induce more evident facial mimicry than static ones remains controversial. The authors investigated this issue by recording EMG from the corrugator supercilii and zygomatic major. Dynamic and static facial expressions or anger and happiness were presented. Dynamic presentations of angry expressions induced stronger EMG activity from the corrugator supercilii than static presentations, while dynamic presentations of happy expressions induced stronger EMG activity from the zygomatic major compared to static presentations. These results indicate that dynamic facial expressions induce facial EMG activity interpretable as facial mimicry more evidently than static expressions.
  24. Simultaneous Recording of EEG and Facial Muscle Reactions During Spontaneous Emotional Mimicry
    Achaibou, A., Pourtois, G., Schwartz, S. & Vuillemier, P. Neuropsychologia Vol. 64(4) (2008)
    The perception of emotional facial expressions induces covert imitation in emotion-specific muscles of the perceiver’s face. Neural processes involved in these spontaneous facial reactions remain largely unknown. The researchers concurrently recorded EEG and facial EMG in 15 participants watching short movie clips displaying either happy or angry facial expressions. EMG activity was recorded for the zygomaticus major (ZM) that elevates the lips during a smile, and the corrugator supercilii (CS) that knits the eyebrows during a frown. They found increased EMG activity of CS in response to angry expressions, and enhanced EMG activity of ZM for happy expressions, replicating earlier EMG studies. More importantly, they found that the amplitude of an early visual evoked potential (right P1) was larger when ZM activity to happy faces was high, and when CS activity to angry faces was high, as compared to when muscle reactions were low. Conversely, the amplitude of right N170 component was smaller when the intensity of facial imitation was high. These combined EEG-EMG results suggest that early visual processing of face expression may determine the magnitude of subsequent facial imitation.
  25. The Psychophysiology of James Bond: Phasic Emotional Responses to Violent Video Game Events
    Ravaja, Niklas, Turpeinen, M., Saari, T., Puttonen, S., Keltikangas-Jarvinen, L. Emotion Vol. 8(1) (February 2008)
    The authors examined emotional valence- and arousal-related phasic psychophysiological responses to different violent events in the first-person shooter video game “James Bond 007: NightFire” among 36 young adults. Event-related changes in zygomaticus major, corrugator supercilii, and orbicularis oculi electromyographic (EMG) activity and skin conductance level (SCL) were recorded, and the participants rated their emotions and the trait psychoticism based on the Psychcoticism dimension of the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire–Revised, Sort Form. Wounding and killing the opponent elicited an increase in SCL and a decrease in zygomatic and orbicularis oculi EMG activity. The decrease in zygomatic and orbicularis oculi activity was less pronounced among high Psychoticism scorers compared with low Psychoticism scorers. The wounding and death of the player’s own character (James Bond) elicited an increase in SCL and zygomatic and orbicularis oculi EMG activity and a decrease in corrugator activity. Instead of joy resulting from victory and success, wounding and killing the opponent may elicit high-arousal negative affect (anxiety), with high Psychoticism scorers experiencing less anxiety than low Psychoticism scorers. Although counterintuitive, the wounding and death of the player’s own character may increase some aspect of positive emotion.
  26. Engagement, Emotions, and the Power of Radio – A New Study of How Radio Affects Consumer Emotions
    Conducted by Gallup and Robinson (Part One), Part of the Ongoing Series, “Radio and the Consumer’s Mind: How Radio Works,” published by the Radio Effectiveness Lab, June 2007
    This new Radio Ad Effectiveness Lab (Radio Ad Lab) study, conducted by Gallup and Robinson, was designed to assess how well radio ads can generate emotional responses and engage with consumers, compared to television ads. and it did so using advanced physiological methods that measure emotional responses in ways that don’t require verbal responses. After evaluating 16 different real ad campaigns within actual programming, one conclusion is clear: Radio ads have emotional impact on consumers that is equal to that of television ads. The 16 radio campaigns in this study generated emotional levels just as high as their TV counterparts on average. And at the individual level, there were four radio campaigns showing significantly higher emotional impact than their TV counterparts, compared to only one higher-level TV spot.
  27. More Than Mere Mimicry? The Influence of Emotion on Rapid Facial Reactions to Faces
    Moody, McIntosh, D.N., Mann, L.J., and Weisser, K.R., Emotion Vol. 7(2) (May 2007)
    Within a second of seeing an emotional facial expression, people typically match that expression. These rapid facial reactions (RFRs) often termed mimicry, are implicated in emotional contagion, social perception, and embodied affect, yet ambiguity remains regarding the mechanism(s) involved. Two studies evaluated whether RFRs  to faces are solely nonaffective motor responses or whether emotional processes are involved. Brow (corrugator, related to anger) and forehead (frontalis, related to fear) activity were recorded using facial electromyography (EMG) while undergraduates in two conditions (fear induction vs. neutral) viewed fear, anger, and neutral facial expressions. As predicted, fear induction increased fear expressions to angry faces within 1000 ms of exposure, demonstrating an emotional component of RFRs. This did not merely reflect increased fear from the induction, because responses to neutral faces were unaffected. Considering RFRs to be merely nonaffective automatic reactions is inaccurate. RFRs are not purely motor mimicry; emotion influences early facial responses to faces. The relevance of these data to emotional contagion, autism, and the mirror system-based perspectives on imitation is discussed.
  28. Similar Facial Electromyographic Responses to Faces, Voices and Body Expressions.
    Magnée, Maurice J. C. M., Stekelenburg, J.J., Kemner, C., de Gelder, Beatrice , Neuroreport Vol. 18(4) (Mar 2007)
    Observing facial expressions automatically prompts imitation, as can be seen with facial electromyography. To investigate whether this reaction is driven by automatic mimicry or by recognition of the emotion displayed the experimenters recorded electromyograph responses to presentations of facial expressions, face-voice combinations and bodily expressions, which resulted from happy and fearful stimuli. They observed emotion-specific facial muscle activity (zygomaticus for happiness, corrugator for fear) for all three stimulus categories. Results indicated that spontaneous facial expression was more akin to an emotional reaction than to facial mimicry and imitation of the seen face stimulus. The authors conclude that seeing a facial expression, an emotional body expression or hearing an emotional tone of voice all activate the affect program corresponding to the emotion displayed.
  29. Measuring Emotional Valence to Understand the User’s Experience of Software
    Hazlett, R.L., & Benedeck, J., International Journal of Human-Computer Studies Vol. 65 (2007)
    This paper reports on the results of two studies that used facial electromyography (EMG) measures combined with verbal and performance measures to provide feedback in the software design process on the user’s emotional state. The first study assessed 16 participant’s emotional responses while they passively viewed mock ups of proposed new operating system features. The second study measured the emotional responses of 15 participants while they actively used one of two versions of a media player. This multimodal assessment method was able to provide a sensitive measure of the desirability of the proposed software features, and a measure of emotional tension and mental effort expended in the interactive tasks.
  30. Similar Facial Electromyographic Responses to Faces, Voices, and Body Expressions
    Magnee, Maurice, Stekelenburg, Jeroen, Kemner, Chantal and De Gelder, Beatrice, Cognitive Neuroscience & Neuropsychology Neuroreport Vol. 18 (2007)
    Observing facial expressions automatically prompts imitation, as can be seen with facial electromyography. To investigate whether this reaction is driven by automatic mimicry or by recognition of the emotion displayed they recorded electromyograph responses to presentation of facial expressions, face-voice combinations and bodily expressions, which resulted from happy and fearful stimuli. They observed emotion-specific facial muscle activity (zygomaticus for happiness, corrugator for fear) for all three stimulus categories. This indicates that spontaneous facial expression is more akin to an emotional reaction than to facial mimicry and imitation of the seen face stimulus. We suggest that seeing a facial expression, an emotional body expression or hearing an emotional tone of voice all activate the affect program corresponding to the emotion displayed.
  31. Electromyographic Responses to Static and Dynamic Avatar Emotional Facial Expressions
    Weyers, P., Helberger, A., Hefele, C., and Pauli, P., Psychophysiology Vol. 43 (2006)
    Facial muscular reactions to avatars’ static (neutral, happy, angry) and dynamic (morphs developing from neutral to happy or angry) facial expressions, presented for 1 s each, were investigated in 48 participants. Dynamic expressions led to better recognition rates and higher intensity and realism ratings. Angry expressions were rated as more intense than happy expressions. EMG recordings indicated emotion-specific reactions to happy avatars as reflected in increased M. zygomaticus major and decreased M. corrugator supercilii tension, with stronger reactions to dynamic as compared to static expressions. Although rated as more intense, angry expressions elicited no significant M. corrugator supercilii activation. We conclude that facial reactions to angry and to happy facial expressions hold different functions in social interactions. Further research should vary dynamics in different ways and also include additional emotional expressions.
  32. Computing Emotion Awareness through Facial Electromyography
    Broek , E. L., Schut, M. H., Westerink, J. H. D., Herk Jan van, and Tuinenbreijer, K., Computer Science (Human-Computer Interaction), 3979, 51-62 (2006)
    To improve human-computer interaction (HCI), computers need to recognize and respond properly to their users emotional state. This is a fundamental application of affective computing, which relates to, arises from, or deliberately influences emotion. As a first step to a system that recognizes emotions of individual users, this research focuses on how emotional experiences are expressed in six parameters (i.e., mean, absolute deviation, standard deviation, variance, skewness, and kurtosis) of physiological measurements of three electromyography signals: frontalis (EMG1), corrugator supercilii (EMG2), and zygomaticus major (EMG3). The 24 participants were asked to watch .lm scenes of 120 seconds, which they rated afterward. These ratings enabled us to distinguish four categories of emotions: negative, positive, mixed, and neutral. The skewness of the EMG2 and four parameters of EMG3, discriminate between the four emotion categories. This, despite the coarse time windows that were used. Moreover, rapid processing of the signals proved to be possible. This enables tailored HCI facilitated by an emotional awareness of systems.
  33. Study of Posed Emotion in Facial EMG Asymmetry
    Zhou, R., Hu, S., Perceptual & Motor Skills, Vol. 102(2) (April 2006)
    37 subjects’ facial electromyography activity at the corrugator and zygomatic muscle regions were recorded while they were posing with happy and sad facial expressions. Analysis showed that the mean value of EMG activity at the left zygomatic muscle regions was the highest, followed by the right zygomatic, left corrugator, and right corrugator muscle regions, while a happy facial expression was posed. The mean value of EMG activity at the left corrugator muscle region was the highest, followed by those for the right corrugator, left zygomatic and right zygomatic regions while a sad facial expression was posed. Further analysis indicated that the power of facial EMG activity on the left side of the face was stronger than on the right side of the face while posing both happy and sad expressions.
  34. Real-time Estimation of Emotional Experiences from Facial Expressions
    Partala, Timo, Interacting with Computers, Vol. 18(2) (Mar 2006)
    The authors’ aim was to develop methods that estimate emotional experiences in real time from the electromyographic activity of two facial muscles: zygomaticus major (activated when smiling) and corrugator supercilii (activated when frowning). Ten subjects were stimulated with a series of emotionally arousing pictures and videos. After each stimulus the subjects rated the valence of their emotional experience on a nine-point bipolar dimensional scale. At the same time the computer estimated the subjects” ratings on the basis of their electrical facial activity during each stimulation with 70 computational models. The models estimated the subjects” ratings either categorically or dimensionally with regression models. The best categorical models were able to estimate negative and positive ratings with an average accuracy of over 70 and 80% for pictures and videos, respectively. The best correlations between the human ratings and machine estimations formed with the regression models were high (r>0.9). These findings indicate that models estimating psycho-emotional experiences on the basis of facial activity can be created successfully in several ways.
  35. The Facial Pattern of Disgust, Appetence, Excited Joy and Relaxed Joy: An improved Facial EMG Study
    Wolf, K., Mass, R., Ingenbleek, T., Kiefer, F., Naber, D. & Wiedemann,K., Scandinavian Journal of Psychology Vol. 46 (2005)
    The purpose of the study was to investigate the facial muscle pattern of disgust in comparison to appetence and joy, using an improved facial EMG method. We analyzed the activity of nine facial muscles in forty healthy subjects. The subject group was randomly divided into two groups (oversaturated vs. hungry) of ten women and ten men each. Four different emotions (disgust, appetence, excited-joy and relaxed-joy) were induced by showing pictures from the IAPS. Pre-visible facial muscle activity was measured with a new facial EMG. A Visual Analog Scale (VAS) was established. Disgust is represented by a specific facial muscle pattern involving M.corrugator and M.orbicularis oculi, clearly distinguishing it from the facial patterns of appetence and joy. The intensity of disgust is stronger in a state of hunger than under oversaturation and is altogether stronger in females than in males. Our findings indicate the possibility to explore the entire emotion system successfully through a state-of-the-art psychophysiological method like our EMG device.
  36. The Review of Applications and Measurements in Facial Electromyography
    Huang, Cheng-Ning, Chen, Chun-Han, and Chung, Hung-Yuan, Journal of Medical & Biological Engineering Vol. 25(1), 15-20, (2005)
    This paper reviews the various applications related to facial EMG. The authors survey the facial EMG application or masticatory function evaluation, speech analysis and recognition, and emotional expression observation. In addition, we also introduce the measurement of facial EMG including the electrode selection, electrode position and noise reduction. Finally, the authors discuss strategies to further develop the facial EMG technique.
  37. Suboptimal Exposure to Facial Expressions: When Viewing Video Messages from a Small Screen: Effects in Emotion, Attention and Memory
    Ravaja, N., Kallinen, K. and Saari, T., Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied Vol. 10(2) (2004)
    The authors examined the effects of suboptimally presented facial expressions on emotional responses and memory among 39 young adults viewing video (business news) messages from a small screen. Facial electromyography (EMG) was used as  physiological measures of emotion. The authors demonstrate that it is possible to use facial electromyography (EMG) activity recorded over corrugator supercilii, zygomaticus major, and orbicularis oculi regions as a more implicit affective measure in priming studies. That is, increased activity at the zygomaticus major (cheek) and corrugator supercilii (brow) muscle regions has been associated with positive emotions and negative emotions, respectively. Results showed that happy facial primes prompted increased (a) pleasure ratings, (b) orbicularis oculi EMG activity, (c) perceived trustworthiness, and (d) recognition memory for video messages with a positive emotional tone.
  38. Effects of Positive and Negative Affect on Electromyographic Activity over Zygomaticus Major and Corrugator Supercilii
    Larsen, J.T., Norris, C.J., and Cacioppo, J.T., Psychophysiology Vol. 40 (2003)
    Pleasant stimuli typically elicit greater electromyographic (EMG) activity over zygomaticus major and less activity over corrugator supercilii than do unpleasant stimuli. To provide a systematic comparison of these 2 measures, the authors examined the relative form and strength of affective influences on activity over zygomaticus major and corrugator supercilii. Self-reported positive and negative affective reactions and facial EMG were collected as women (n 5 68) were exposed to series of affective pictures, sounds, and words. Consistent with speculations based on known properties of the neurophysiology of the facial structure, results revealed a stronger linear effect of valence on activity over corrugator supercilii versus zygomaticus major. In addition, positive and negative affect ratings indicated that positive and negative affect have reciprocal effects on activity over corrugator supercilii, but not zygomaticus major.
  39. Presence-Related Influences of a Small Talking Facial Image on Psychophysiological Measures of Emotion and Attention
    Ravaja, Niklas (2002)
    The author examines the effects of a small talking facial image on (a) emotional responses as indexed by self-report and facial electromyography (EMG) and (b) attention and engagement as indexed by so-called respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) when viewing/listening to financial news from a simulated pocket PC among 36 subjects. The results showed that a talking facial image was rated as more pleasant and arousing as compared to a static facial image, and elicited progressively increasing zygomatic EMG activity. In addition, a talking facial image was associated with a decrease in RSA, but only among individuals scoring high on dispositional behavioral activation system (BAS) sensitivity. It is suggested that a small talking facial image contributes to sustained attention and engagement particularly among high BAS scorers, given that it may increase the sense of presence.
  40. The Effects of Message Valence and Listener Arousal on Attention, Memory and Facial Muscular Responses to Radio Advertisements.
    Boll, P.D., Lang, A. and Potter, R.F., Communication Research, Vol. 28 (2001)
    This study tested the validity of using facial electromyography (EMG) as a physiological measure of the valence of radio listeners’ emotional responses to advertisements and explored the effects of message valence and listener arousal on attention and memory. A within-subjects experiment was conducted in which participants listened to ten 60-second radio advertisements that had been coded in a pretest as having either a positive or negative emotional tone. Facial EMG, heart rate and skin conductance data were collected during exposure to the advertisements. Following exposure, participants completed free recall and recognition memory tests. Results demonstrated the validity of using facial EMG to assess the valence of emotional response to media messages. Heart rate data suggest that negative messages receive more attention than positive ones. Furthermore, how arousing a message is appears to be a better predictor of memory than message valence.
  41. Mind at Ease Puts a Smile on the Face: Psychophysiological Evidence That Processing Facilitation Elicits Positive Affect
    Winkielman, P. and Cacioppo, J.T., Journal of Personality & Social Psychology, Vol. 81, No. 6, 989-1000 (2001)
    The affect system, in its position to monitor organismicenvironmental transactions, may be sensitive to the internal dynamics of information processing. Hence, the authors predicted that facilitation of stimulus processing should elicit a brief, mild, positive affective response. In 2 studies, participants watched a series of neutral pictures while the processing ease was unobtrusively manipulated. Affective reactions were assessed with facial electromyography (EMG). In both studies, easy-to-process pictures elicited higher activity over the region of zygomaticus major, indicating positive affect. The EMG data were paralleled by self-reports of positive responses to the facilitated stimuli. The findings suggest a close link between processing dynamics and affect and may help understand several preference phenomena, including the mere-exposure effect. The findings also highlight a potential source of affective biases in social judgments.
  42. Emotional Response to Television Commercials:  Facial EMG vs. Self Report
    Hazlett, R.L., Hazlett, S.Y., Journal of Advertising Research Vol. 39 (1999)
    As television commercials increasingly contain emotional elements designed both to get the viewer’s attention and to communicate the advertising message, copy pretesting is challenged to evaluate the potential effectiveness of these emotionally stimulating commercials and their success at eliciting the intended emotional responses. Standard copy measures, however, do not yield such informative results about emotional responses to commercials. In order to meet this challenge for copy pretesting, we measured the emotional responses to a series of television commercials of both females (aged 20-53 yrs) and males (aged 18-63 yrs) using self-report and facial electromyography (EMG), a validated emotion measure used in academic research. We hypothesized that facial EMG, as compared to self-report, would be a more sensitive discriminator between commercials, would be more strongly related to recall, and peaks in facial EMG responses elicited during the commercial would be temporally related to specific emotion-congruent events in the commercial. Results strongly supported all of our hypotheses and illustrated the promise of facial EMG measures in advertising research and copy pretesting in particular.
  43. Facial Electromyographic Responses to Vocal Affect Expressions
    Hietanen, J.K., Psychophysiology Vol. 35(5) (1998)
    In this study the researchers investigated facial electromyographic (EMG) responses to vocal affect expressions. They also measured emotion-related action tendencies by requesting the subjects to indicate their tendency to approach or withdraw from the person uttering the stimulus word. In addition, emotional contagion (EC) was measured with a questionnaire-based scale. The results showed that hearing the expression of anger increased EMG activity in the subjects’ brow region more than hearing contentment. In contrast, the expression of contentment activated the periocular muscle region more than anger. The expressions of anger elicited behavioral withdrawal responses, whereas the neutral expressions and contentment evoked approach responses. Subjects scoring low and high on EC exhibited different patterns of EMG responses. The results support the view that negative and positive affects are contagious from hearing human vocal affect expressions.
  44. Facial and Jaw-elevator EMG Activity in Relation to Changes in Performance Level During a Sustained Information Task
    Waterink, W., & Van Boxtel, A., Biological Psychology Vol. 37 (1994)
    Evaluated spontaneous facial EMG activity as an index of mental effort, focusing on whether concordant alterations in task performance level and EMG amplitude exist during a sustained information processing task. The EMG of 6 different facial and jaw-elevator muscles were recorded in 21 Ss performing a 20 min, externally paced, visual 2-choice serial reaction task and in 24 other Ss performing a self-paced version. In both groups there was a gradual increase in EMG activity of frontalis, corrugator, and orbicularis oris inferior muscles following task onset. In the Ss with declining performance, initial EMG increase passed into a decreasing trend towards the end of the task; in the stable performance groups, EMG increased uninterruptedly. Results support the hypothesis that EMG activity in particular facial muscles is related to the mobilization of aspecific energetic resources.
  45. Muscle Tension in Generalized Anxiety Disorder: Elevated Muscle Tonus or Agitated Movement?
    Hazlett, R.L., McLeon, D.M., Hoehn-Saric, R., Psychophysiology Vol. 31 (1994)
    Investigated the amplitude characteristics of frontalis and gastrocnemius EMG activity in clinically anxious and nonanxious populations. 18 women with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and 19 nonanxious women were compared during baseline., laboratory stressor, and recovery conditions. EMG mean levels were greater for the GAD group, but there were no group differences in EMG skewness. During the stressor the GAD group had a significant reduction in frontalis EMG variability. Gastrocnemius muscle activity for both groups during the stressor condition increased mean levels and variability while decreasing skewness. Results indicate that clinically anxious individuals have elevated muscular tonus and have reduced variability in frontalis activity during stressful tasks. Also, the gastrocnemius muscle exhibited a stressor reactivity, whereas the frontalis did not.
  46. On the Distinct Meaning of Smiles and Frowns
    Pope, L.K., & Smith, C.A., Cognition & Emotion Vol. 8, (1994)
    Conducted a conceptual replication of the study by C.A. Smith et al (1989) to clarify the significance of the frown. 43 undergraduates, who were part of a larger investigation, imagined themselves in pleasant and unpleasant scenarios while muscle activities in the eyebrow and cheek regions were monitored using the EMG. Brow region activity was related to evaluations of motivational incongruence and perceived goal-obstacles, and, after taking these relationships into account, was uncorrelated with subjective pleasantness. Cheek activity was associated with subjective pleasantness and, after taking this relationship into account, nothing else. Results suggest that individual components of facial expressions directly encode information about emotional state and clarify the nature of the information encoded by the frown and the smile.
  47. Looking at Pictures: Affective, Facial, Visceral, and Behavioral Reactions
    Lang, P.J., Greenwald, M.K., Bradley, M.M., & Hamm, A.O., Psychophysiology Vol. 30 (1993)
    Colored photographic pictures that varied widely across the affective dimensions of valence (pleasant-unpleasant) and arousal (excited-calm) were each viewed for a 6-sec period while facial electromyographic (zygomatic and corrugator muscle activity) and visceral (heart rate and skin conductance) reactions were measured in 33 female and 33 male university students. Judgements relating to pleasure, arousal, interest, and emotional state were measured, as was choice viewing time. Significant covariation was obtained between 91) facial expressions and affective valence judgements and (2) skin conductance magnitude and arousal ratings. Interest ratings and viewing time were also associated with arousal. Although differences due to the S’s gender and cognitive style were obtained, affective responses were largely independent of the personality factors investigated.
  48. Microexpressive Facial Actions as a Function of Affective Stimuli: Replication and Extension
    Cacioppo, J.T., Bush, L.K., & Tassinary, L.G., Psychological Science Vol. 18 (1992)
    Examined the effects of communicative intent and stimulus activity on facial EMG activity in 20 female undergraduates. Ss viewed slides of pleasant, neutral, or unpleasant social or nature scenes under no instruction, inhibit-expression instructions, and amplify-expression instructions. Results indicated that pleasant stimuli (both faces and scenes) were associated with lower EMG activity over the brow and higher EMG activity over the periocular region than were unpleasant stimuli. Facial EMG activity was highest in the amplify and lowest in the inhibit condition. Results suggest that facial efference can be altered by both affective and communicative processes even when it is too subtle to produce a socially perceptible facial expression.
  49. Unobservable Facial Actions and Emotions
    Tassinary, L.G., & Cacioppo, J.T., Psychological Science, Vol. 3(1) (1992)
    Reviews research over the past decade showing that facial electromyograph (EMG) activity varies as a function of the intensity, valence and sociality of emotional stimuli and that facial EMG activity is slightly different in deliberately manipulated and spontaneous expressions of emotion. The multiply determined nature of facial actions and expressions, however, has limited the inferences that can be made about the psychological significance of facial EMG responses. These limitations have begun to recede in recent years as a result of advances in the psychometric properties of facial EMG measurements, the quantification of EMG waveforms and patterns, the conjoint measurement of facial EMG and electrocortical activity, the conceptualization of psychophysiological relations, and the formalization of psychophysiological inference.
  50. Facial Electromyography and Emotional Reactions
    Dimberg, U., Psychophysiology, Vol. 27 (1990)
    Reviews data that were collected in the author’s laboratory to determine whether the facial electromyogram (EMG) response is a general component of the emotional reaction. Results from several studies show that facial reactions were (1) spontaneously elicited and differed according to the kind of emotional stimuli to which Ss were exposed; (2)sensitive to learning; (3) consistent with how Ss perceived the stimuli and their own specific emotions; (4) congruent with autonomic responses; (5) more pronounced for females than males; and (6) different among Ss with specific fears. These data indicate that facial muscle activity is a general component of the emotional reaction. The facial EMG technique may be a sensitive tool for measuring emotional reactions.
  51. Gender Differences in Facial Reactions to Facial Expressions
    Dimberg, U., Biological Psychology, Vol. 30(2) (April 1990)
    Examined whether the sex of the stimulus faces differentially influenced response patterns to facial stimuli. 24 male and 24 female psychology students were exposed to slides of angry and happy faces displayed by both sexes. Facial electromyographic (EMG) activity was measured from the corrugator and zygomatic muscle regions. The Ss were also required to rate the stimuli on different dimensions. Angry faces evoked increased corrugator activity whereas happy faces evoked increased zygomatic activity. These effects were more pronounced for females, particularly for the response to happy faces. There were no facial EMG effects for gender of stimulus. Males and females perceived the stimuli similarly. The results are consistent with previous findings (U. Dimberg, 1991) indicating that females are more facially reactive than are males.
  52. Facial Electromyography and the Experience of Emotion
    Dimberg, U., Journal of Psychophysiology, Vol. 2-4 (1988)
    Explored whether different facial electro-myographic (EMG) reactions correspond to a change in the subjective experience of specific emotions. 22 college students were exposed to slides of angry and happy facial stimuli in a balanced order while their facial-EMG activity (corrugator and zygomatic muscle regions), autonomic activity (heart rate and skin conductance), and their experience of emotion were measured. Angry stimuli evoked increased corrugator activity, heart rate-deceleration, and reliably more fear as compared with the happy stimuli, whereas happy stimuli elicited increased zygomatic activity and more experience of happiness. Results support the proposition that facial muscles constitute an emotional output system and are intimately related to the experience of emotion.
  53. Facial Electromyography, Fear Relevance and the Experience of Stimuli
    Dimberg, U., Journal of Psychophysiology Vol. 2(3) (1988)
    A study with 36 undergraduates demonstrated that Ss respond with different facial electromyographic (EMG) reactions and consistent experience of the stimuli when exposed to fear-relevant and fear-irrelevant stimuli. Two groups were exposed to slides of snakes or flowers while their facial EMG activity, autonomic reactions, and ratings of the stimuli were measured. Snakes elicited an increased corrugator response, a larger initial skin conductance response, and a phasic heart-rate deceleration, whereas flowers evoked an increased zygomatic activity. The snakes were experienced as more unpleasant and the flowers are more pleasant. Results are consistent with the proposition that the facial muscles are closely related to emotional reactions and that the facial EMG response reflects the emotional quality of the reaction.
  54. Specific Forms of Facial EMG Response Index Emotions During an Interview: From Darwin to the Continuous Flow Hypothesis of Affect-laden Information Processing
    Cacioppo, J.T., Martzke, J.S., Petty, R.E., & Tassinary, L.G., Journal of Personality & Social Psychology Vol. 54 (1988)
    Previous research has demonstrated that mild negative emotional imagery and unpleasant sensory stimuli lead to greater electromyographic activity over the brow muscle region than mild positive imagery and stimuli, even in the absence of significant changes in visceral and general facial EMG activity. Previous research has not addressed whether electromyographic responses over the brow region are a sensitive and specific index of emotions, however, since a multiplicity of events lead to changes in brow activity. In this research, facial electromyographic  and audiovisual recordings were obtained while individuals were interviewed about themselves. Afterwards, individuals were asked to describe what they had been thinking of during specific segments of the interview marked by distinctive electromyographic responses over the brow region in the context of ongoing but stable levels of activity elsewhere in the face. The results are interpreted in terms of a continuous flow hypothesis of affect-laden information processing.
  55. Emotional Responding Following Experimental Manipulation of Facial Electromyographic Activity
    McCanne, T. R. & Anderson, J.A., Journal of Personality & Social Psychology Vol. 52(4) 759-768 (April 1987)
    Thirty female subjects were instructed to imagine three positive affective scenes and three negative affective scenes. During the initial imagination of each scene, the subject was told simply to imagine the situation. The subject then imagined the situation again and was instructed to enhance the muscle tension in one of two muscle groups (the zygomatic muscles for positive scenes and the corrugator muscle for negative scenes). The subject then imagined the scene a third time and was instructed to suppress the muscle tension in the same muscle group. Feedback was available during practice trials and during the enhancement and suppression trials of the experiment. Continuous monitoring of both zygomatic and corrugator electromyogram (EMG) during the study indicated that subjects were successful in altering muscle tension in accord with the experimental instructions, and videotapes of subjects’ faces indicated no overt changes in facial responding during imagination of the scenes. Subjects’ ratings of emotional responding during each scene indicated that subjects experienced less enjoyment and more distress during positive affective trials in which they suppressed zygomatic EMG activity. The results are discussed in terms of the facial feedback hypothesis. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA, all rights reserved)
  56. Electromyographic Activity Over Facial Muscle Regions Can Differentiate the Valence and Intensity of Affective Reactions
    Cacioppo, J.T., Petty, R.E., Losch, M.E., Kim, H.S., Journal of Personality & Social Psychology Vol. 50 (1986)
    Physiological measures like facial EMG go beyond assessing arousal and are in fact capable of distinguishing between positive and negative affective states. Sixteen subjects in a pilot study were exposed briefly to slides and tones that were mildly to moderately evocative of positive and negative affect. Facial electromyographic (EMG) activity differentiated both the valence and intensity of the affective reaction. Interestingly independent judges were unable to determine from viewing videotapes of the subjects’ facial displays whether a positive or negative stimulus had been presented. In the full experiment, 28 subjects briefly viewed slides of scenes that were mildly to moderately evocative of positive and negative affect. Again, EMG activity over the brow (corrugator supercilia), eye (orbicularis oculi), and cheek (zygomatic major) muscle regions differentiated the pleasantness and intensity of individuals’ affective reactions to the visual stimuli even though visual inspection of the videotapes again indicated that expressions of emotion were not apparent. These results suggest that gradients of EMG activity over the muscles of facial expression can provide objective and continuous probes of affective processes that are too subtle or fleeting to be normally visible.
  57. Facial Reactions to Facial Expressions
    Dimberg, U., Psychophysiology Vol. 19-6 (1982)
    Exposed 16 Swedish college students to 14 pictures of happy and angry facial expressions, in response to which their facial EMG activities, heart rate (HR), and palmar skin conductance responses (SCRs) were recorded. It was found that happy and angry faces evoked different facial EMG response patterns, with increased zygomatic region activity to happy stimuli and increased corrugator region activity to angry stimuli. Both happy and angry faces evoked HR declerations and similar SCR magnititudes. Results suggest that facial EMG recordings provide a method for distinguishing between response patterns to positive and negative emotional visual stimuli. This may allow for investigations of the hedonic tone of emotional reactions among verbal and nonverbal Ss (such as infants).
  58. Relationships Between Facial Electromyography and Subjective Experience During Affective Imagery
    Brown S.L. & Schwartz G.E. Biological Psychology 11(1):49-62 (1980)
    Sixty subjects were exposed for 40 s each to 48 imagery situations designed to reflect happy, sad, angry and fearful conditions. Facial electromyographic (EMG) activity from zygomatic, corrugator, masseter and lateral frontalis muscle regions was recorded, and experienced emotion was measured on a scale tapping these four emotions. Results showed that: (1) zygomatic activity reliably differentiated happy imagery, corrugator activity reliably differentiated sad imagery, but masseter activity did not differentiate angry imagery and lateral frontalis activity did not differentiate fearful imagery; (2) different intensities of specific emotional imagery situations evoked the expected differential patterns of self-report and EMG; (3) higher correlations between self-report and EMG for ‘present’, rather than ‘future’ ratings of experienced emotion emerged for positive affect only; and (4) the use of a standardized imagery scale, rather than the self-generated, personally-relevant affective situations used in previous studies, allowed for more sensitive measurement of the relationship between facial muscle activity and subjective experience of emotion during affective imagery.
  59. Facial Muscle Patterning and Subjective Experience During Affective Imagery: Sex Differences
    Schwartz, G.E., Brown, S. and Ahern, G.L., Psychophysiology Vol. 17(1) (January 1980)
    Facial electromyographic (EMG) activity was recorded from the zygomatic, corrugator, masseter and frontalis muscle regions in 30 male and 30 female subjects. Forty-eight items were selected to reflect happy, sad, angry and fearful situations. Subjects imagined each of the items for 40 sec and rated how they felt on a scale tapping the four emotions. The results indicated that for certain emotions, muscle regions and ratings, females (as compared to males): 1) generated facial EMG patterns of greater magnitude (relative to rest) during affective imagery, 2) reported a stronger experience of emotion to the imagery, 3) showed greater within-subject correlations between the experience of emotions and facial EMG, 4) evidenced somewhat higher corrugator and significantly lower masseter EMG activity during rest, and 5) generated greater facial EMG changes during a post-imagery, voluntary facial expression condition. Cultural and biological interpretations of the data are considered. The importance of evaluating gender in psychophysiological studies of emotion is stressed.