Effects of brain laterality on accuracy of decoding facial displays of emotion

Kory Floyd, Alan C. Mikkelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

The human face is capable of producing numerous unique expressions and comprises the primary nonverbal channel for the communication of emotion. In this study, we investigated the effects of sex and neurological hemispheric dominance on the ability to decode facial expressions of emotion accurately. On the basis of a battery of measures assessing handedness, familial sinistrality, and immune disorders, we classified participants as having standard, anomalous, or mixed hemispheric dominance. Consistent with previous studies, we found that hemispheric dominance and sex interacted to influence participants' abilities to decode facial displays of affect from photographs. Specifically, mixed dominant females had the highest accuracy in the decoding of facial emotion, whereas mixed dominant males had the lowest accuracy. We discuss these findings within the context of communibiology and comment on their implications for the study of neurology and social behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)419-437
Number of pages19
JournalCommunication Quarterly
Volume51
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2003
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Communibiology
  • Emotion display
  • Hemispheric dominance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication

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