Facial muscle patterning and lateralization during elation and depression imagery

Alan D. Sirota, Gary E. Schwartz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


26 18-30 yr old female Ss read a standard set of self-referent statements and imagined scenes with elated, depressed, and neutral content. The dependent measures were subjective mood ratings (Self-Rating Depression Scale) and left and right zygomatic- and corrugator-muscle activity. The self-statements elicited feelings of elation and depression in approximately 70% of Ss. Among these Ss, elation was accompanied by immediate increases in zygomatic activity, especially on the right side of the face in pure right-handed Ss. Depression was accompanied by bilateral increases in corrugator activity that grew over time. In the remaining 30% of Ss who reported experiencing little or no subjective differences between the elation and depression self-statements, similar though smaller facial patterns of zygomatic and corrugator activity were found that reliably differentiated the affective conditions. Data support the hypothesis that facial EMG patterning is a sensitive psychophysiological indicator of mood. (39 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-34
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Abnormal Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1982


  • elation & depression evoked by imagery, subjective mood ratings & facial muscle patterning & lateralization, 18-30 yr old females

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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