Our abstract got accepted for poster presentation at 2018 Society for Affective Science (SAS)

Our abstract “Extracting Facial Synchrony from Videos of Naturalistic Dyadic Interaction” got selected for poster presentation at the annual conference of the Society for Affective Science (SAS), which will be held in Los Angeles on April 26-28, 2018 at the UCLA Luskin Center.

Congrats to Catie et al.!

Title: Extracting Facial Synchrony from Videos of Naturalistic Dyadic Interaction
Authors: Catie Nielson, Mohsen Nabian, Yu Yin, Jolie Wormwood, David DeSteno, Lisa Feldman Barrett, Karen Quigley, and Sarah Ostadabbas.

Abstract: Studies of nonverbal behavioral synchrony between interaction partners have often focused on movement of the hands, head and postural changes, but not facial features. Yet, facial movements are widely studied by emotion researchers, and facial synchrony may play a critical role in the relationship between interpersonal synchrony and affect. Here, we investigate naturally-occurring facial synchrony across 25 dyads comprised of strangers. Dyads were videotaped during a 5-minute, unstructured interaction. We then used a novel video signal processing algorithm to extract continuous measures of movement of eyebrow and lip landmarks for each person. We assessed the extent of facial synchrony in each dyad by correlating movement of each person’s facial features with the movement of their interaction partner’s features over time, for the whole interaction and in one minute segments. As expected given the naturalistic design, evidence of synchrony was fairly modest across our sample. However, results revealed widespread variability in the amount of facial synchrony, including variability across time, across dyads, and across features. For example, in one dyad, partners showed greater synchrony of the eyebrows (r_e = 0.14) than of the lips (r_l = – 0.01) while the reverse was seen in another dyad (r_e = 0.04, r_l = 0.13). This non-invasive technique for measuring facial synchrony represents a useful new tool for examining how individuals can influence one another’s affective states, particularly in naturalistic settings.