PERCEPTUAL DECISION-MAKING ABOUT AMBIGUOUS EMOTIONAL EXPRESSIONS
Principal investigators: Emilie Meaux, Marwa El Zein, Valentin Wyart and Julie Grezes
This project aims at exploring the mechanisms underlying decision-making when faced with emotional expressions and how their combination with other co-emitted cues (such as invariant facial traits and gaze) impacts these decision-making processes (See El Zein et al. 2015, Elife).
We also aim at addressing whether the interaction of emotional expressions with other relevant co-emitted social cues in the decision-making process only applies where the decision itself concerns the emotional state of the emitter, or whether it is also present where non-social decisions are to be made.
Methods: psychophysics (models) and electroencephalography (EEG)
ACTION-BASED DECISION-MAKING ABOUT AMBIGUOUS EMOTIONAL EXPRESSIONS
Principal investigators: Emma Vilarem, Rocco Mennella, Morgan Beaurenaut, Basak Turker and Julie Grezes
Collaborators: Jorge Armony
This project explores how and when task-irrelevant threat signals impact action-based decisions. To do so, we created an original and realistic setting that allowed us to record participants’ spontaneous choices between competing targets for action in the presence of task-irrelevant threat-related emotional displays. We also qualify the functional coupling between emotional displays and action by testing the influence of the hypothesized automatic triggering of threat-facilitated actions on visual detection - as proxies for motor-related attention deployment. Finally, we aim at obtaining a comprehensive view of the impact of adaptive anxiety on attention and action selection processes in response to threat.
Methods: psychophysics (models), pupilometry, kinematics analyses and electroencephalography (EEG)
SOCIAL PERCEPTION AND MOTIVATION IN INDIVIDUALS WITH AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER
Principal investigators: Christina Ioannou, Julie Grezes, Marwa El Zein, Valentin Wyart, Emma Vilarem, Coralie Chevallier
Collaborators: Richard Delorme (Hopital Debré) and his team.
Funding: Fondation Roger de Spoelberch
This project aims at testing the hypothesis that autism-associated social dysfunction may result from a difficulty during social interactions to detect social cues displayed by another as communicative signals, i.e. signals that require the observer to automatically adapt her/his behavior.
BODY POSTURES IMPACT ON THE APPRAISAL OF OUR SOCIAL ENVIRONMENT
Principal investigators: Hannah Metzler, Michele Chadwick, Emma Vilarem and Julie Grèzes
How does the reading of social signals vary as a function of individual characteristics of the observer? Using body postures, which have been shown to modulate behaviour in a manner coherent with the social dominance they embody, we are investigating how the body state of the observer shapes the appraisal of social signals of others. A first part of the project focuses on how body postures change appraisal of threat-related emotional expressions as a function of their relevance to the self. A second part strives to entangle the mechanisms of posture effects investigating their impact on social cognition and behaviour on two levels: an influence on mental representations of faces, and an influence on approach and avoidance tendencies in response to social signals of threat.