Alternative TitleThe Role of Facial Identity and Expression in Memory Superiority Effect of the Threatening Face
孙雨薇1,2; 齐玥1,2; 刘勋1,2
First Author孙雨薇
Contribution Rank1


Other Abstract

Human face plays an important role in social activities, and the advantage of memory for threatening faces can help us avoid risk and adapt to the environment. Faces can convey threat messages through facial identity and facial expressions. Threatening identity indicates that the person is a long-term threat to others, while threat expression indicates that the person may be a temporary threat. According to several important factors that affect memory, revealing the behavior and neural mechanism of threat face processing is the key to understand memory advantage of the threatening face, and is also an important problem in psychological research. Recent behavior, brain imaging, and ERPs studies have revealed the memory advantage of threatening faces is mainly due to the attention and perception advantage in the face coding process, and is embodied in the process of the threatening identity and threatening facial expression. In comparison with non-threatening face memory, it is found that threat face memory has a unique neural processing mechanism dominated by amygdala, superior temporal sulcus, orbito frontal cortex and insula. Specifically, studies of the identity of threatening faces have found that faces of both defectors and untrustworthy individuals have a memory advantage. The reason could be that remembering the threatening people is more important for self-protection and is rare in life. At the same time, the research of neural mechanism shows that the face with threatening identity will attract more attention, and the recognition of the face will spontaneously recall the information related to the threat identity, with greater activation of the anterior paracentric gyrus, superior temporal sulcus, and insula. Studies of the emotionally threatening faces have found that such faces have higher processing efficiency and quality, and looser recognition response criteria. Compared with an unthreatening face, it is found that threatening emotional face memory has a unique neural processing mechanism including amygdala-anterior cingulated gyrus network and insula. The ERPs studies found that threat emotion faces had larger amplitude on N2pc, P1, and P300 components, indicating that threat expression enhanced the attention bias of threat faces through attention capture and attention maintenance. Due to the different attention to identity and facial expression, the results of relevant literature are relatively scattered. Nevertheless, we can explain the memory advantage effect of the threatening identity and threatening facial expression from the perspectives of evolutionary dominance hypothesis and emotional arousal hypothesis. According to the evolutionary hypothesis, the evolutionary pressure has shaped the automatic threat detection system, and the direct-driven, bottom-up and automated attention capture advantage of the threatening faces leads to the memory advantage of threat faces. While emotional hypothesis suggests that the threatening face can quickly enter the arousal system and improve the individual arousal level, thus improving the effort and efficiency in the task process. That is to say, threat faces improve the processing efficiency by improving the arousal level of individuals, and allocate attention resources to more important threat faces through the top-down meaning assessment system, so as to promote the memory of threat faces. Previous studies have confirmed that the superior memory effect of threatening faces is reflected in two aspects, face identity and facial expression. And this memory advantage can be derived from the aspects of threatening face attracting attention, having higher perceptive discernibility, significance and so on. The future research is encouraged to clarify if the relationship between facial expression and facial identity is independent or interactive, consider the differences between instant and potential threatening faces, and distinguish the different stages of memory and the role of emotional and perceptual factors during threatening face processing. Using a variety of technical means and a unified research paradigm will be helpful to observe the cognitive and neural mechanisms behind the threatening face memory advantage.

Keyword威胁情绪 面孔身份 面孔表情 记忆 神经机制
Source Publication心理学进展
Indexed By其他
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Document Type期刊论文
Corresponding Author齐玥
First Author AffilicationInstitute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Corresponding Author AffilicationInstitute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Recommended Citation
GB/T 7714
孙雨薇,齐玥,刘勋. 身份和情绪在威胁面孔记忆优势中的作用[J]. 心理学进展,2020,10(2):92-100.
APA 孙雨薇,齐玥,&刘勋.(2020).身份和情绪在威胁面孔记忆优势中的作用.心理学进展,10(2),92-100.
MLA 孙雨薇,et al."身份和情绪在威胁面孔记忆优势中的作用".心理学进展 10.2(2020):92-100.
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