The development of the explicit recognition of facial expressions of emotions can be affected by childhood maltreatment experiences. A previous study demonstrated the existence of an explicit recognition bias for angry facial expressions among a population of adolescent Sierra Leonean street-boys exposed to high levels of maltreatment. In the present study, the recognition bias for angry facial expressions was investigated in a younger population of street-children and age-matched controls. Participants performed a forced-choice facial expressions recognition task. Recognition bias was measured as participants' tendency to over-attribute anger label to other negative facial expressions. Participants' heart rate was assessed and related to their behavioral performance, as index of their stressrelated physiological responses. Results demonstrated the presence of a recognition bias for angry facial expressions among street-children, also pinpointing a similar, although significantly less pronounced, tendency among controls. Participants' performance was controlled for age, cognitive and educational levels and for naming skills. None of these variables influenced the recognition bias for angry facial expressions. Differently, a significant effect of heart rate on participants' tendency to use anger label was evidenced. Taken together, these results suggest that childhood exposure to maltreatment experiences amplifies children's "pre-existing bias" for anger labeling in forced-choice emotion recognition task. Moreover, they strengthen the thesis according to which the recognition bias for angry facial expressions is a manifestation of a functional adaptive mechanism that tunes victim's perceptive and attentive focus on salient environmental social stimuli.

Impact of childhood maltreatment on the recognition of facial expressions of emotions / Ardizzi, M.; Martini, F.; Umilta, M. A.; Evangelista, V.; Ravera, R.; Gallese, V.. - In: PLOS ONE. - ISSN 1932-6203. - 10:10(2015), p. e0141732. [10.1371/journal.pone.0141732]

Impact of childhood maltreatment on the recognition of facial expressions of emotions

Ardizzi M.;Martini F.;Umilta M. A.;Gallese V.
2015

Abstract

The development of the explicit recognition of facial expressions of emotions can be affected by childhood maltreatment experiences. A previous study demonstrated the existence of an explicit recognition bias for angry facial expressions among a population of adolescent Sierra Leonean street-boys exposed to high levels of maltreatment. In the present study, the recognition bias for angry facial expressions was investigated in a younger population of street-children and age-matched controls. Participants performed a forced-choice facial expressions recognition task. Recognition bias was measured as participants' tendency to over-attribute anger label to other negative facial expressions. Participants' heart rate was assessed and related to their behavioral performance, as index of their stressrelated physiological responses. Results demonstrated the presence of a recognition bias for angry facial expressions among street-children, also pinpointing a similar, although significantly less pronounced, tendency among controls. Participants' performance was controlled for age, cognitive and educational levels and for naming skills. None of these variables influenced the recognition bias for angry facial expressions. Differently, a significant effect of heart rate on participants' tendency to use anger label was evidenced. Taken together, these results suggest that childhood exposure to maltreatment experiences amplifies children's "pre-existing bias" for anger labeling in forced-choice emotion recognition task. Moreover, they strengthen the thesis according to which the recognition bias for angry facial expressions is a manifestation of a functional adaptive mechanism that tunes victim's perceptive and attentive focus on salient environmental social stimuli.
Impact of childhood maltreatment on the recognition of facial expressions of emotions / Ardizzi, M.; Martini, F.; Umilta, M. A.; Evangelista, V.; Ravera, R.; Gallese, V.. - In: PLOS ONE. - ISSN 1932-6203. - 10:10(2015), p. e0141732. [10.1371/journal.pone.0141732]
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11381/2879825
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 29
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 24
social impact