Body movement stimuli



In one line of research, we are investigating the ability of neurologically intact and brain-damaged participants to perceive and recognize basic emotions from body movements and postures, in both full-light and point-light (or patch-light) conditions. The development of a large set of stimuli, as well as the initial recognition and intensity rating data for these stimuli, were reported in the following article:

Atkinson, A.P., Dittrich, W.H., Gemmell, A.J., & Young, A.W. (2004). Emotion perception from dynamic and static body expressions in point-light and full-light displays. Perception, 33, 717-746. [Click here for pdf.]

Click here for an example point-light body expression of emotion used in this study (a QuickTime movie file).


For a subsequent study that employed slightly modified versions of these stimuli, see:


Atkinson, A.P., Tunstall, M.L., & Dittrich, W.H. (2007). Evidence for distinct contributions of form and motion information to the recognition of emotions from body gestures. Cognition, 104, 59-72. [Click here to read the abstract.]


This latter study examined the effects on emotion recognition of inverting the whole-body emotional gestures and/ or reversing the direction of their motion. Click on the following links for example stimuli used in this study (QuickTime movie files):


Example patch-light displays

Upright, forward fear    Upright, reversed fear   Inverted, forward fear   Inverted, reversed fear

Upright, forward anger (1)   Upright, forward anger (2)

Upright, forward disgust (1)   Upright, forward disgust (2)

Upright, forward fear (1)   Upright, forward fear (2)

Upright, forward happiness (1)   Upright, forward happiness (2)

Upright, forward sadness (1)   Upright, forward sadness (2)


Example full-light displays

Upright, forward fear    Upright, reversed fear   Inverted, forward fear   Inverted, reversed fear


More recently (2008-09), we have developed 'proper' point-light versions of these stimuli, which we are currently using in several studies. To create these latest stimuli, we tracked from frame to frame the x-y coordinates of the centre of the patches in the patch-light displays, and then created images consisting of small dots at each recorded x-y coordinate. Thanks to Dr. Hannah Smithson and Craig Douglas. Click here to see an example movie clip.

Links:

Back to Anthony Atkinson's homepage
Department of Psychology, Durham University
Durham University