Emotional Empathy modulates Face Inversion Effect: A Near-infrared Spectroscopy Study

[Speaker] Ito, Hiroshi:1
1:Aichi University (Japan)

Using 48-channel near-infrared spectroscopy to investigate brain activity in recognizing emotional expressions, we examined the face inversion effect during the recognition of the emotional faces. The participant's task was to categorize the visually presented facial expressions and to select one emotional label from the three emotional expressions (neutral, happiness, anger). The participants were divided into high-empathy and low-empathy groups on the Emotional Empathy Scale. The results in the low-empathy group indicated the minimum inversion effect (i.e., slower reaction time to recognize inverted than upright faces) for the neutral expression and the maximum inversion effect for the anger expression, while the results in the high-empathy group showed the comparable inversion effect for all the three emotional expressions. We discuss the findings of performance data in relation to the role of mirror neuron system and emotional face recognition.
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