Facial identity and emotional expression as predictors during economic decisions


Alguacil, S., Madrid, E., Espín, A. and Ruz, M. 2017. Facial identity and emotional expression as predictors during economic decisions. Cognitive, Affective and Behavioral Neuroscience. 17 (2), pp. 315-329. https://doi.org/10.3758/s13415-016-0481-9
TitleFacial identity and emotional expression as predictors during economic decisions
AuthorsAlguacil, S., Madrid, E., Espín, A. and Ruz, M.

Two sources of information most relevant to guide social decision making are the cooperative tendencies associated with different people and their facial emotional displays. This electrophysiological experiment aimed to study how the use of personal identity and emotional expressions as cues impacts different stages of face processing and their potential isolated or interactive processing. Participants played a modified trust game with 8 different alleged partners, and in separate blocks either the identity or the emotions carried information regarding potential trial outcomes (win or loss). Behaviorally, participants were faster to make decisions based on identity compared to emotional expressions. Also, ignored (nonpredictive) emotions interfered with decisions based on identity in trials where these sources of information conflicted. Electrophysiological results showed that expectations based on emotions modulated processing earlier in time than those based on identity. Whereas emotion modulated the central N1 and VPP potentials, identity judgments heightened the amplitude of the N2 and P3b. In addition, the conflict that ignored emotions generated was reflected on the N170 and P3b potentials. Overall, our results indicate that using identity or emotional cues to predict cooperation tendencies recruits dissociable neural circuits from an early point in time, and that both sources of information generate early and late interactive patterns.

PublisherThe Psychonomic Society
JournalCognitive, Affective and Behavioral Neuroscience
Publication dates
Online30 Nov 2016
Print01 Apr 2017
Publication process dates
Deposited25 Jan 2017
Accepted11 Nov 2016
Output statusPublished
Accepted author manuscript
Copyright Statement

The final publication is available at Springer via http://dx.doi.org/10.3758/s13415-016-0481-9

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.3758/s13415-016-0481-9
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