Temporal integration of bodies and faces: united we stand, divided we fall?

Maya Lecker*, Roy Shoval, Hillel Aviezer, Baruch Eitam

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Although most research in the field of emotion perception has focused on the isolated face, recent studies have highlighted the integration of emotional faces and bodies. Regardless of instructions to ignore it, incongruent emotional body context can automatically alter the categorization of distinct and prototypical facial expressions. Previous work suggested that face–body integration is rapid, automatic, and persists even after spatial misalignment of the two. However, the temporal dynamics of face–body integration were never explored. Using a novel measure of temporal visual integration, the current report examines the effect of introducing a temporal gap between the body and face. When presented simultaneously, faces and bodies showed robust integration: the face was strongly influenced by the information conveyed by the task-irrelevant body. By contrast, when faces and bodies were presented with even the briefest temporal lag, we failed to find evidence for integration of bodily and facial emotion cues. These main findings were replicated across three experiments, and suggest that the integration between emotional faces and bodies may be more fragile than previously assumed.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)477-491
Number of pages15
JournalVisual Cognition
Issue number4-6
StatePublished - 3 Jul 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Visual integration
  • body language
  • cognitive control
  • facial expressions
  • social cognition
  • temporal integration


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