Shape-invariant encoding of dynamic primate facial expressions in human perception.

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From: eLife(Vol. 10)
Publisher: eLife Science Publications, Ltd.
Document Type: Article
Length: 12,423 words
Lexile Measure: 1490L

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Abstract :

Dynamic facial expressions are crucial for communication in primates. Due to the difficulty to control shape and dynamics of facial expressions across species, it is unknown how species-specific facial expressions are perceptually encoded and interact with the representation of facial shape. While popular neural network models predict a joint encoding of facial shape and dynamics, the neuromuscular control of faces evolved more slowly than facial shape, suggesting a separate encoding. To investigate these alternative hypotheses, we developed photo-realistic human and monkey heads that were animated with motion capture data from monkeys and humans. Exact control of expression dynamics was accomplished by a Bayesian machine-learning technique. Consistent with our hypothesis, we found that human observers learned cross-species expressions very quickly, where face dynamics was represented largely independently of facial shape. This result supports the co-evolution of the visual processing and motor control of facial expressions, while it challenges appearance-based neural network theories of dynamic expression recognition.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A664884152