skip to main content

Title: Individual differences in spontaneous facial expressions in people with visual impairment and blindness
People can visualize their spontaneous and voluntary emotions via facial expressions, which play a critical role in social interactions. However, less is known about mechanisms of spontaneous emotion expressions, especially in adults with visual impairment and blindness. Nineteen adults with visual impairment and blindness participated in interviews where the spontaneous facial expressions were observed and analyzed via the Facial Action Coding System (FACS). We found a set of Action Units, primarily engaged in expressing the spontaneous emotions, which were likely to be affected by participants’ different characteristics. The results of this study could serve as evidence to suggest that adults with visual impairment and blindness show individual differences in spontaneous facial expressions of emotions.
Authors:
;
Award ID(s):
1831969
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10356198
Journal Name:
British Journal of Visual Impairment
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
026461962110709
ISSN:
0264-6196
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Given that most cues exchanged during a social interaction are nonverbal (e.g., facial expressions, hand gestures, body language), individuals who are blind are at a social disadvantage compared to their sighted peers. Very little work has explored sensory augmentation in the context of social assistive aids for individuals who are blind. The purpose of this study is to explore the following questions related to visual-to-vibrotactile mapping of facial action units (the building blocks of facial expressions): (1) How well can individuals who are blind recognize tactile facial action units compared to those who are sighted? (2) How well can individuals who are blind recognize emotions from tactile facial action units compared to those who are sighted? These questions are explored in a preliminary pilot test using absolute identification tasks in which participants learn and recognize vibrotactile stimulations presented through the Haptic Chair, a custom vibrotactile display embedded on the back of a chair. Study results show that individuals who are blind are able to recognize tactile facial action units as well as those who are sighted. These results hint at the potential for tactile facial action units to augment and expand access to social interactions for individuals who are blind.
  2. The overall goal of our research is to develop a system of intelligent multimodal affective pedagogical agents that are effective for different types of learners (Adamo et al., 2021). While most of the research on pedagogical agents tends to focus on the cognitive aspects of online learning and instruction, this project explores the less-studied role of affective (or emotional) factors. We aim to design believable animated agents that can convey realistic, natural emotions through speech, facial expressions, and body gestures and that can react to the students’ detected emotional states with emotional intelligence. Within the context of this goal, the specific objective of the work reported in the paper was to examine the extent to which the agents’ facial micro-expressions affect students’ perception of the agents’ emotions and their naturalness. Micro-expressions are very brief facial expressions that occur when a person either deliberately or unconsciously conceals an emotion being felt (Ekman &Friesen, 1969). Our assumption is that if the animated agents display facial micro expressions in addition to macro expressions, they will convey higher expressive richness and naturalness to the viewer, as “the agents can possess two emotional streams, one based on interaction with the viewer and the other basedmore »on their own internal state, or situation” (Queiroz et al. 2014, p.2).The work reported in the paper involved two studies with human subjects. The objectives of the first study were to examine whether people can recognize micro-expressions (in isolation) in animated agents, and whether there are differences in recognition based on the agent’s visual style (e.g., stylized versus realistic). The objectives of the second study were to investigate whether people can recognize the animated agents’ micro-expressions when integrated with macro-expressions, the extent to which the presence of micro + macro-expressions affect the perceived expressivity and naturalness of the animated agents, the extent to which exaggerating the micro expressions, e.g. increasing the amplitude of the animated facial displacements affects emotion recognition and perceived agent naturalness and emotional expressivity, and whether there are differences based on the agent’s design characteristics. In the first study, 15 participants watched eight micro-expression animations representing four different emotions (happy, sad, fear, surprised). Four animations featured a stylized agent and four a realistic agent. For each animation, subjects were asked to identify the agent’s emotion conveyed by the micro-expression. In the second study, 234 participants watched three sets of eight animation clips (24 clips in total, 12 clips per agent). Four animations for each agent featured the character performing macro-expressions only, four animations for each agent featured the character performing macro- + micro-expressions without exaggeration, and four animations for each agent featured the agent performing macro + micro-expressions with exaggeration. Participants were asked to recognize the true emotion of the agent and rate the emotional expressivity ad naturalness of the agent in each clip using a 5-point Likert scale. We have collected all the data and completed the statistical analysis. Findings and discussion, implications for research and practice, and suggestions for future work will be reported in the full paper. ReferencesAdamo N., Benes, B., Mayer, R., Lei, X., Meyer, Z., &Lawson, A. (2021). Multimodal Affective Pedagogical Agents for Different Types of Learners. In: Russo D., Ahram T., Karwowski W., Di Bucchianico G., Taiar R. (eds) Intelligent Human Systems Integration 2021. IHSI 2021. Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing, 1322. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-68017-6_33Ekman, P., &Friesen, W. V. (1969, February). Nonverbal leakage and clues to deception. Psychiatry, 32(1), 88–106. https://doi.org/10.1080/00332747.1969.11023575 Queiroz, R. B., Musse, S. R., &Badler, N. I. (2014). Investigating Macroexpressions and Microexpressions in Computer Graphics Animated Faces. Presence, 23(2), 191-208. http://dx.doi.org/10.1162/

    « less
  3. Despite significant vision loss, humans can still recognize various emotional stimuli via a sense of hearing and express diverse emotional responses, which can be sorted into two dimensions, arousal and valence. Yet, many research studies have been focusing on sighted people, leading to lack of knowledge about emotion perception mechanisms of people with visual impairment. This study aims at advancing knowledge of the degree to which people with visual impairment perceive various emotions – high/low arousal and positive/negative emotions. A total of 30 individuals with visual impairment participated in interviews where they listened to stories of people who became visually impaired, encountered and overcame various challenges, and they were instructed to share their emotions. Participants perceived different kinds and intensities of emotions, depending on their demographic variables such as living alone, loneliness, onset of visual impairment, visual acuity, race/ethnicity, and employment status. The advanced knowledge of emotion perceptions in people with visual impairment is anticipated to contribute toward better designing social supports that can adequately accommodate those with visual impairment.
  4. Facial expressions of emotion play an important role in human social interactions. However, posed expressions of emotion are not always the same as genuine feelings. Recent research has found that facial expressions are increasingly used as a tool for understanding social interactions instead of personal emotions. Therefore, the credibility assessment of facial expressions, namely, the discrimination of genuine (spontaneous) expressions from posed (deliberate/volitional/deceptive) ones, is a crucial yet challenging task in facial expression understanding. With recent advances in computer vision and machine learning techniques, rapid progress has been made in recent years for automatic detection of genuine and posed facial expressions. This paper presents a general review of the relevant research, including several spontaneous vs. posed (SVP) facial expression databases and various computer vision based detection methods. In addition, a variety of factors that will influence the performance of SVP detection methods are discussed along with open issues and technical challenges in this nascent field.
  5. In recent news, organizations have been considering the use of facial and emotion recognition for applications involving youth such as tackling surveillance and security in schools. However, the majority of efforts on facial emotion recognition research have focused on adults. Children, particularly in their early years, have been shown to express emotions quite differently than adults. Thus, before such algorithms are deployed in environments that impact the wellbeing and circumstance of youth, a careful examination should be made on their accuracy with respect to appropriateness for this target demographic. In this work, we utilize several datasets that contain facial expressions of children linked to their emotional state to evaluate eight different commercial emotion classification systems. We compare the ground truth labels provided by the respective datasets to the labels given with the highest confidence by the classification systems and assess the results in terms of matching score (TPR), positive predictive value, and failure to compute rate. Overall results show that the emotion recognition systems displayed subpar performance on the datasets of children's expressions compared to prior work with adult datasets and initial human ratings. We then identify limitations associated with automated recognition of emotions in children and provide suggestions onmore »directions with enhancing recognition accuracy through data diversification, dataset accountability, and algorithmic regulation.« less