Data_Sheet_1_Explicit and Implicit Responses of Seeing Own vs. Others’ Emotions: An Electromyographic Study on the Neurophysiological and Cognitive Ba.csv (313.74 kB)
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Data_Sheet_1_Explicit and Implicit Responses of Seeing Own vs. Others’ Emotions: An Electromyographic Study on the Neurophysiological and Cognitive Basis of the Self-Mirroring Technique.csv

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posted on 31.03.2020, 04:45 by Alessandra Vergallito, Giulia Mattavelli, Emanuele Lo Gerfo, Stefano Anzani, Viola Rovagnati, Maurizio Speciale, Piergiuseppe Vinai, Paolo Vinai, Luisa Vinai, Leonor J. Romero Lauro

Facial mimicry is described by embodied cognition theories as a human mirror system-based neural mechanism underpinning emotion recognition. This could play a critical role in the Self-Mirroring Technique (SMT), a method used in psychotherapy to foster patients’ emotion recognition by showing them a video of their own face recorded during an emotionally salient moment. However, dissociation in facial mimicry during the perception of own and others’ emotions has not been investigated so far. In the present study, we measured electromyographic (EMG) activity from three facial muscles, namely, the zygomaticus major (ZM), the corrugator supercilii (CS), and the levator labii superioris (LLS) while participants were presented with video clips depicting their own face or other unknown faces expressing anger, happiness, sadness, disgust, fear, or a neutral emotion. The results showed that processing self vs. other expressions differently modulated emotion perception at the explicit and implicit muscular levels. Participants were significantly less accurate in recognizing their own vs. others’ neutral expressions and rated fearful, disgusted, and neutral expressions as more arousing in the self condition than in the other condition. Even facial EMG evidenced different activations for self vs. other facial expressions. Increased activation of the ZM muscle was found in the self condition compared to the other condition for anger and disgust. Activation of the CS muscle was lower for self than for others’ expressions during processing a happy, sad, fearful, or neutral emotion. Finally, the LLS muscle showed increased activation in the self condition compared to the other condition for sad and fearful expressions but increased activation in the other condition compared to the self condition for happy and neutral expressions. Taken together, our complex pattern of results suggests a dissociation at both the explicit and implicit levels in emotional processing of self vs. other emotions that, in the light of the Emotion in Context view, suggests that STM effectiveness is primarily due to a contextual–interpretative process that occurs before that facial mimicry takes place.

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