Author(s): Dimberg U
Abstract Share this page
Abstract This study examined whether facial electromyographic (EMG) reactions differentiate between identical tone stimuli which subjects perceive as differently unpleasant. Subjects were repeatedly exposed to a 1000 Hz 75 dB tone stimulus while their facial EMG from the corrugator and zygomatic muscle regions were measured. Skin conductance and heart rate responses were also measured. The subjects rated the unpleasantness of the stimulus and based on these ratings they were divided into two groups, High and Low in perceived unpleasantness. As predicted the facial EMG activity reflected the perceived unpleasantness. That is, the High group but not the Low group reacted with an increased corrugator response. The autonomic data, on the other hand, did not differ between groups. The results are consistent with the proposition that the facial muscles function as a readout system for emotional reactions and that facial muscle activity is intimately related to the experiential level of the emotional response system.
This article was published in Scand J Psychol
and referenced in Journal of Ergonomics