Perception of emotion

by     /    January 21, 2006   

I recently discovered a fun blog, the Cognitive Daily. I concentrated in cognitive science and linguistics in college, and my studies perception, language, and metaphor have been a great source of inspiration for my abstract photography. So it was a nice surprise recently to discover an entire blog dedicated to cognitive science, the Cognitive Daily. They have two posts this week that caught my eye.

The first post, Seeing emotions in dots, is about study that explores the minimum amount of information we need to perceive emotion. The researchers had actors put on point-light suits (a black body suit with a dot of light at their head, chest, each joint, etc.), and filmed them portray different emotions, like anger, joy, sadness. This reduced the actors performances to dots moving against a black background. They then asked people to watch these videos and describe the emotions being portrayed. It’s fascinating to see how little information your brain needs to perceive these concepts.

The second post is one of the “casual friday” quick studies, looking at how we perceive change. Check it out, and take their quick test. It’s been fun to catch up with my old studies again, and remember why I found them so fascinating to begin with!

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