Scientific article
Open access

Coherence explored between emotion components: Evidence from event-related potentials and facial electromyography

Published inBiological psychology, vol. 98, p. 70-81
Publication date2014

Componential theories assume that emotion episodes consist of emergent and dynamic response changes to relevant events in different components, such as appraisal, physiology, motivation, expression, and subjective feeling. In particular, Scherer's Component Process Model hypothesizes that subjective feeling emerges when the synchronization (or coherence) of appraisal-driven changes between emotion components has reached a critical threshold. We examined the prerequisite of this synchronization hypothesis for appraisal-driven response changes in facial expression. The appraisal process was manipulated by using feedback stimuli, presented in a gambling task. Participants' responses to the feedback were investigated in concurrently recorded brain activity related to appraisal (event-related potentials, ERP) and facial muscle activity (electromyography, EMG). Using principal component analysis, the prediction of appraisal-driven response changes in facial EMG was examined. Results support this prediction: early cognitive processes (related to the feedback-related negativity) seem to primarily affect the upper face, whereas processes that modulate P300 amplitudes tend to predominantly drive cheek region responses.

  • Coherence
  • Emotion components
  • Event-related potentials
  • Facial electromyography
  • Principal component analysis
  • Synchronization
Citation (ISO format)
GENTSCH, Kornelia, GRANDJEAN, Didier Maurice, SCHERER, Klaus R. Coherence explored between emotion components: Evidence from event-related potentials and facial electromyography. In: Biological psychology, 2014, vol. 98, p. 70–81. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsycho.2013.11.007
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal0301-0511

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