Subjective Recognition of Emotional Expressions in Face Transplant Patients


GÜLBETEKİN E., BAYRAKTAR S., ÖZKAN Ö., ÖZKAN Ö.

JOURNAL OF NONVERBAL BEHAVIOR, vol.41, no.4, pp.325-343, 2017 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 41 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2017
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s10919-017-0259-y
  • Journal Name: JOURNAL OF NONVERBAL BEHAVIOR
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.325-343
  • Keywords: Face, Facial transplantation, Emotional expression, FACIAL REACTIONS, PERCEPTION, EXPERIENCE, MIMICRY
  • Akdeniz University Affiliated: Yes

Abstract

One of the most prevalent problems in face transplant patients is an inability to generate facial expression of emotions. The purpose of this study was to measure the subjective recognition of patients' emotional expressions by other people. We examined facial expression of six emotions in two facial transplant patients (patient A = partial, patient B = full) and one healthy control using video clips to evoke emotions. We recorded target subjects' facial expressions with a video camera while they were watching the clips. These were then shown to a panel of 130 viewers and rated in terms of degree of emotional expressiveness on a 7-point Likert scale. The scores for emotional expressiveness were higher for the healthy control than they were for patients A and B, and these varied as a function of emotion. The most recognizable emotion was happiness. The least recognizable emotions in Patient A were fear, surprise, and anger. The expressions of Patient B scored lower than those of Patient A and the healthy control. The findings show that partial and full-face transplant patients may have difficulties in generating facial expression of emotions even if they can feel those emotions, and different parts of the face seem to play critical roles in different emotional expressions.