Spotorno, S, Evans, M and Jackson, MC (2018) Remembering who was where: A happy expression advantage for face identity-location binding in working memory. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition, 44 (9). 1365 - 1383. ISSN 0022-1015

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It is well established that visual working memory (WM) for face identity is enhanced when faces display threatening versus nonthreatening expressions. During social interaction, it is also important to bind person identity with location information in WM to remember who was where, but we lack a clear understanding of how emotional expression influences this. Here, we conducted two touchscreen experiments to investigate how angry versus happy expressions displayed at encoding influenced the precision with which participants relocated a single neutral test face to its original position. Maintenance interval was manipulated (Experiment 2; 1 s, 3 s, 6 s) to assess durability of binding. In both experiments, relocation accuracy was enhanced when faces were happy versus angry, and this happy benefit endured from 1-s to 6-s maintenance interval. Eye movement measures during encoding showed no convincing effects of oculomotor behavior that could readily explain the happy benefit. However, accuracy in general was improved, and the happy benefit was strongest for the last, most recent face fixated at encoding. Improved, durable binding of who was where in the presence of a happy expression may reflect the importance of prosocial navigation. (PsycINFO Database Record

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This article has been published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Copyright for this article is retained by the author(s). Author(s) grant(s) the American Psychological Association the exclusive right to publish the article and identify itself as the original publisher.
Uncontrolled Keywords: faces; emotional expression; visuospatial working memory; maintenance; eye movements
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Natural Sciences > School of Psychology
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Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 08 Apr 2019 10:53
Last Modified: 22 Feb 2021 15:22

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