Emotion, Cognition and Facial Expression

Universitat de les
Illes Balears
Master in Human Evolution and Cognition
2006-2007 Academic Year
Technical information
Course title: Emotion, Cognition and Facial Expression
Course code: a cumplimentar por el Centro de Tecnologías de la Información
Type of course: Compulsory for students enrolled in the Cognition and the Brain
specialisation track. Optional for other students.
Level of course: Postgraduate
Year of study: First
Semester: First
Timetable: January 15 to 26 from 3.30 p.m. to 5.30 p.m., January 29 from 1.00
p.m. to 5.30 p.m.. Final exam: June 19 and 20 from 9.30 a.m. to 2.00 p.m.,
which is also the deadline for submitting the course project (one per module).
Language of instruction: Catalan, Spanish or English, depending on the students
Supervising lecturer
Name: Jaume Rosselló Mir
Contact: [email protected]
Other lecturers
Name: Enric Munar Roca
Contact: [email protected]
Number of ECTS credits
Number of classroom hours: 20 on-campus classroom hours. 10 virtual
classroom hours.
Independent study hours: 95
Emotion, prefrontal functions, facial expression, affective neuroscience
Course competences
 Learn and understand essential concepts in affective processes and their
relationship with high-level cognition from an evolutionist perspective, taking
the latest advances in neurobiology into account
 Understand the possible evolutionary pressure that drove the appearance of
emotions and motivations and, more specifically, learn why natural selection
appeared favourable to the appearance of the qualitative wealth that, influenced
by language, characterises human feelings
Be familiar with the motivating potential behind emotions (and affective
Learn how emotion influences cognitive processing and data selection
Understand the relationships between emotion and cognition and the dilemma of
the primacy of cognition versus the primacy of emotion
Understand how cognitive interpretation influences affective states and develop
skills for deducing the practical implications of models
Approach the most relevant questions, issues and unresolved challenges related
to emotion-cognition relationship from a critical and reasoned point of view
Become familiar with explanations put forward by evolutionist psychology and
learn to relate experimental evidence to its possible neural basis using the
fundamental principles underlying affective neuroscience
Understand the function of facial expressions linked to affective experiences
from ecological optics, with a special emphasis on the functional perspective of
evolutionist psychology
Adopt an active, critical posture to the study of the facial expression of emotions
from a Neo-Darwinian point of view and most recent alternatives
Learn and apply the main techniques involved in the study of facial expression
Develop skills for posing possible queries and designing experiments to
contribute to solving major unresolved issues
Learn the methodological foundations and major, current experimental research
paradigms. Develop skills to put them into practice and interpret the results
Publicly present reasoned critiques and research papers on a topic
Improve skills for keeping up to date on the topic: gain familiarity with the main
periodicals, other bibliographic sources, databases, computer programs and
internet resources used in researching the relationship between emotion and
Understand the relationship between the experimental viewpoint, evolutionist
optics and neurosciences in studying the cognition-emotion tandem and major
motor correlates associated with facial dynamics
Understand the social, informative, communicative and self-regulating role of
emotional experience, the cognitive processes that determine it and non-verbal
and para-verbal affective expression
Understand the functional relationships among emotion, cognition and action
 Acquire skills for conceptual and relational learning
 Develop the ability to conceive the practical implications of the course matter
 Improve planning, decision making and problem solving skills
 Learn to solve new problems on the basis of acquired knowledge
 Foster meta and self-learning skills
 Acquire self-regulation skills that encourage student autonomy in the learning
 Learn to think reflectively, critically and creatively by fostering divergent
 Practice analysis and synthesis skills on the subject matter
 Improve social and expression skills and establish empathetic relationships
 Work on the manner of publicly presenting information using the appropriate
verbal, non-verbal and preverbal communication for each context
Improve skills for writing up research findings using the standard criteria
employed in scientific papers, in terms of both organisation and content
Handle the material and apparatus involved in topic research, understand the
reason for each operation and know how to interpret the meaning of each output
Develop skills for effective group work conducted in a coordinated and
equitable manner
Become familiar with the methodology and different procedural steps involved
in research. Understand why each method, design and procedures is applied in
each case
Improve skills for using new technologies in education, training and research
Participate actively and generate new knowledge, avoid merely mnemonic
knowledge and scholastic learning
Accept self-determination in the training process as a basic element and learn to
be critical and self-starting
1. Introduction and fundamental concepts
1.1. Delimitation and proposal of the definition of the concept of emotion
1.2. Attempts at classification: emotional typology or reduction to dimensions?
1.2. Main emotional antecedents: beyond the cognitive bridge
1.3. The three components of emotional response
1.4. Emotion and orexis: desires, motives and action tendencies
1.5. Affective phenomenology
1.6. Induction and emotional evaluation: from the laboratory to the ecological
1.7. The debate over the primacy of emotion vs. the primacy of cognition
1.8. The evolutionary origin of sentiments and related facial expression
1.9 The supposed “rational animal”: from the sapiens mind to the real mind
2. The process of emotions and the human mind
2.1. The debate over the universality of basic emotions
2.2. Diversity, wealth and complexity: the legacy of language
2.3. Peripheral hypothesis vs. centralist hypothesis: the and cognitive psychophysiological and evolutionist perspectives
2.4. Bifactorial synthesis or the principle of parsimony failed in this case
2.5. The importance of cognitively assessing unexplained activation: arousal and
2.6. When schemas are not appropriate: emotion and awareness
2.7. Processing information and emotion: do we feel what we do not perceive?
2.8. An integrative model: emotions as the result of a process of sequential
2.9 Emotion, motivation and intention: crossing the Rubicon of theories on
contemporary action
2.10. Is emotion a form of cognition?
2.11. The role of emotion in decision-making and judgement: emotional process
and cognitive bias
2.12. “Emotional intelligence”: nihil nove sub solum?
2.13 The Papez-MacLean legacy: neurobiology of human emotion and affective
2.14 The emotional mind in images: PET, fMRI and MEG.
3. Facial expression related to emotion and recognition of affective states
3.1. Models of basic emotions: principles, critiques and reformulations
3.2. The hypothesis of facial feedback in contemporary evolutionist models
3.3. The crisis in classic evolutionist psychology: the contributions of
anthropology and compared and human ethology
3.4 Do “emotional expressions” express emotions? The alternative to “ecology
of behaviour”
3.5. The range of variability in the facial expression of sentiment
3.6. Different types of facial expression: from the intentional to the
3.7. Is facial expression a form of communicating affective states? The
disaccreditation of the hypothesis of unspecific communication
3.8. Facial expression, empathy and theory of the mind: the evidence for the
“audience-dependent” factor
3.9. Sex, lies and facial expression (or how to manipulate others in one’s own
3.10. Facial expression, vocal expression and emotional recognition: the
hypothesis of congruence
3.11. Emotional bias in the processes of memory and learning
3.12. New proposals for researching expression associated with emotion
3.13. The importance of context: towards new experimental paradigms
3.14. Final reflections: the facial expression of a real mind
Methodology and student workload
Subject-related competences
Understand and use the main
concepts in the study of emotioncognition relationships from the
Neo-Darwinian standpoint and most
recent alternatives
Develop a critical view of current
issues and learn to formulate
relevant questions
Develop skills for analysing and
synthesising methodological and
procedural aspects, learn how
scientific communication is
conducted, learn to use new
technologies for training, research
and documentation purposes, be
accustomed to consulting
periodicals, etc.
Learn to pose and formulate
questions with experimental rigor,
Type of group
Lecture classes on Whole group
30 hours
staff hours
10 hours
seminars on
reading and
presentations in
lecture classes
theoretical work
on a monographic
topic related to
the programme
(brief review),
supervised by the
professor in
Group fieldwork
or laboratory
Whole group
20 hours
5 hours
(review in
15 hours
10 hours
Small groups
35 hours
15 hours
design and conduct a small
experiment, work collaboratively
and express the results in public in a
structured manner, answering the
questions posed.
Be familiar with the main
experimental paradigms and
software normally used in
researching emotion, learn to use
material and devices customarily
used in experimental studies in
controlled settings, develop skills for
analysing and interpreting statistical
data, etc.
Learn to draft scientific papers
taking into account organisational
aspects and content, become familiar
with APA criteria, learn to
collaborate, plan and divide up work,
articulate findings in writing and
address them with evidence from
other studies, develop critical and
creative vision
Develop analysis and synthesis
skills, publicly express doubts on
studies, discuss possible implications
and methodological difficulties,
learn to participate actively and learn
to understand and relate concepts
activities: a
practical study
drafted in small
Presentation of
group work in a
seminar open to
the whole group.
Periodic tutorials.
Small groups
sessions to learn
standard criteria.
work reviewed by
Final submission
of document
20 hours
5 hours
5 hours
5 hours
Whole group
Assessment criteria, instruments and learning agreement
Assessment criteria
Student assessment is individual and is based on the following criteria:
Active attitude and participation in acquiring knowledge
Preparation of individual study (independent assessment)
Presentation of a theoretical and research study
Assessment instruments
Exam with open and closed questions
Evaluation of the paper/report on practical work (brief research paper)
Oral presentation of practical work (brief theoretical and research paper)
Assessment based on a learning agreement: No
Independent study material and recommended reading
Virtual lessons posted on the Extended Campus Moodle tool.
The following is the recommended reading list:
Haidt, J. and Keltner, D. (1999). Culture and facial expression: open-ended methods
find more faces and a gradient of universality. Cognition and Emotion, 13, 225266.
Mathews, A. and MacLeod, C. (1994) Cognitive approaches to emotion and emotional
disorders. Annual Review of Psychology, 45, 25-50.
Miller, E. and Cohen, J. (2001). An integrative theory of prefrontal cortex functions.
Annual Review of Neuroscience, 24, 167-202.
Murphy, F. (2003). Functional neuroanatomy of emotions: a meta-analysis. Cognitive
and Affective Behavioral Neuroscience, 3, 207-233.
Rosselló, J. (1996). Psicología del sentimiento: Motivación y emoción. Palma: SPIC,
Universitat de les Illes Balears.
Russell, J.A., Bachorowski, J-A and Fernández-Dols, J.M. (2003). Facial and vocal
expressions of emotion. Annual Review of Psychology, 54: 18.1-18.21.
Bibliography, resources and annexes
Aguado, L. (2005). Emoción, afecto y motivación. Madrid: Alianza.
Damasio, A. (1994/2001). El error de Descartes. Madrid: Crítica.
Eibl-Eibesfeldt, I. (1993). Biología del comportamiento humano. Madrid: Alianza.
Ekman, P., Friesen, W.V. and Hager, J.C. (2002). New Version of the Facial Action
Coding System
Fernández Abascal & Chóliz, M (2001). Expresión facial de las emociones. Madrid:
Fernández Abascal, E. G. (Coord.) (1995). Manual de motivación y emoción. Madrid:
Centro de Estudios Ramón Areces.
Fridlund, A.J. (1999). Expresión facial humana. Una vision evolucionista. Bilbao:
Garrido, I (2000). Psicología de la emoción. Madrid: Síntesis.
Grzib, G. (2002). Bases cognitivas y conductuales de la motivación y emoción. Madrid:
Centro de Estudios Ramón Areces.
Haidt, J. and Keltner, D. (1999). Culture and facial expression: open-ended methods
find more faces and a gradient of universality. Cognition and Emotion, 13, 225266.
Heckhausen, H. (1991). Motivation and action. Berlin Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag.
LeDoux, J. (1999). El cerebro emocional. Barcelona: Ariel/Planeta.
Mathews, A. and MacLeod, C. (1994) Cognitive approaches to emotion and emotional
disorders. Annual Review of Psychology, 45, 25-50.
Miller, E. and Cohen, J. (2001). An integrative theory of prefrontal cortex functions.
Annual Review of Neuroscience, 24, 167-202.
Murphy, F. (2003). Functional neuroanatomy of emotions: a meta-analysis. Cognitive
and Affective Behavioral Neuroscience, 3, 207-233.
Palmero, F., Fernández-Abascal, E.G., Martínez, F. & Chóliz, M. (Coords.), (2002).
Psicología de la motivación y la emoción. Madrid: McGraw-Hill.
Reeve, John Marshall. (2004). Motivación y emoción. 3a ed. Madrid: McGraw-Hill.
Rosselló, J. (1996). Psicología del sentimiento: Motivación y emoción. Palma: SPIC,
Universitat de les Illes Balears.
Rosselló, J. et al. (2005). Do anger and sadness’ induction bias perception of emotionrelated facial expressions? ISRE General Meeting, Bari, Italy, July 11-15-2005.
Rosselló, J. et al. (2005). Effects of anger and sadness’ induction on RT to discriminate
emotion-related facial expressions Psicothema.
Rosselló, J. et al.(in press). Influence of the emotional states of anger and sadness in the
discrimination of three emotion-related facial expressions. Revista electrónica de
motivación y emoción (REME).
Palmero, F. & Fernández-Abascal, E.G. (Coord.) (1998). Emociones y adaptación.
Barcelona: Ariel.
Peláez del Hierro, F. & Veà Baró, J. (1997). Etologia. Bases biológicas de la conducta
animal y humana. Madrid: Pirámide.
Russell, J.A., Bachorowski, J-A and Fernández-Dols, J.M. (2003). Facial and vocal
expressions of emotion. Annual Review of Psychology, 54: 18.1-18.21
Russell, J.A. and Fernández-Dols, J.M. (Eds.), (1997). The psychology of facial
expression. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
Scherer, K. (1999). Appraisal theories, in T. Dalgleish and M. Powers (eds.), Handbook
of cognition and emotion. Chichester: Wiley.
Strongman, K.T. (1991). International Review of Studies on Emotion. 2 vols..
Chichester: Wiley.
Zaccagnini, J. L. (2004). Qué es inteligencia emocional. La relación entre pensamientos
y sentimientos en la vida cotidiana. Madrid: Biblioteca Nueva.
Link to the course teaching guide