Neuropsychologia 40 (2002) 1523–1533

Asymmetry in facial expression of emotions by chimpanzees
Samuel Fernández-Carriba a,∗ , Ángela Loeches b , Ana Morcillo b , William D. Hopkins c,d
b c a Language Research Center, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA, USA Área de Psicobiolog´ ıa, Facultad de Psicolog´ ıa, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Madrid, Spain Living Links Center, Yerkes Regional Primate Research Center, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA d Department of Psychology, Berry College, Mount Berry, GA, USA

Received 2 August 2000; received in revised form 1 February 2002; accepted 5 February 2002

Abstract Asymmetries in human facial expressions have long been documented and traditionally interpreted as evidence of brain laterality in emotional behavior. Recent findings in nonhuman primates suggest that this hemispheric specialization for emotional behavior may have precursors in primate evolution. In this study, we present the first data collected on our closest living relative, the chimpanzee. Objective measures (hemimouth length and area) and subjective measures (human judgements of chimeric stimuli) indicate that chimpanzees’ facial expressions are asymmetric, with a greater involvement of the left side of the face in the production of emotional responses. No effect of expression type (positive versus negative) on facial asymmetry was found. Thus, chimpanzees, like humans and some other nonhuman primates, show a right hemisphere specialization for facial expression of emotions. © 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Brain asymmetry; Emotions; Facial expressions; Chimeric stimuli; Chimpanzees

1. Introduction The neuropsychological basis of emotional behavior has been investigated for more than three decades in human subjects, with specific attention focused on the issue of brain lateralization in the control and mediation of emotions (for a review, see [11]). Emotion has been understood a biologically based state involving several components: perception, experience, physiological arousal, goal-directed activities and expression [37]. The human literature has typically explored the different processing modes (perception, expression, experience and physiological arousal) as well as different channels at the communication level (facial, prosodic, lexical, gestural and postural) (for a componential theoretical approach to emotional behavior, see [2]). As a result of these studies, two distinct conceptual models of emotion and laterality have emerged. One model proposes that the right hemisphere is dominant or specialized for the processing of all emotions [8,5]. In contrast, the valence theory proposes that there is differential hemispheric involvement as a function of emotional valence, or pleasantness–unpleasantness, and approach–withdrawal
∗ Corresponding author. Present address: Language Research Center, Georgia State University, 3401 Panthersville Road, Decatur, GA 30034, USA. Tel.: +1-404-2445845; fax: +1-404-2445752. E-mail address: carriba@gsu.edu (S. Fern´ andez-Carriba).

[10,11]. In this model, the right hemisphere is more active during negative/withdrawal emotion in human adults, whereas the left hemisphere is more dominant for positive/ approach emotions. With the aim to explore the phylogeny of brain asymmetries in emotional behavior, as well as the phylogeny of other functional asymmetries, attention has shifted very recently to studies in nonhuman primates and other species [6]. As with other reports on neuroanatomical and functional asymmetries in nonhuman primates (for comprehensive reviews, see [6,23]), evidence emerging from research on emotional behavior supports a human-like pattern of lateralization of emotion in nonhuman primates. Specifically, physiological studies and behavioral studies have found a greater involvement of the right hemisphere in emotional activity, at least in the case of negative emotions (for review, see [29]). In the human literature, the facial channel, at a communicative level, is one of the behavioral components of emotion that has been most extensively investigated in relation to brain asymmetries both in terms of production (for a review and metanalysis, see [5]) and perception of emotions [1,30,42,43]. This is not surprising, since the relationship between facial expressions and emotions has been reported for centuries, particularly in the writings of Charles Darwin [15]. Regarding nonhuman primates, although a few studies have measured asymmetries in perception of faces and perception of emotional expressions [17,18,32,33,48,49], only

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2 h a day (1 h each group). Five categories of facial expressions (pant-hooting.2. That same lone observer. [35] based their descriptions on other classic ethograms for the study of chimpanzees behavior (for example. who or when to observe) and all social interactions that spontaneously took place were recorded with a video camera (Sony SVHS) by one of the authors. 2. October 1996 to June 1997. Hauser [19] reported that the left side of the face began to move first during the production of the fear grimace and the open mouth threat and it maintained the expression longer than the right in the case of the copulation grimace. the experimenters recorded areas left and right of midline of the mouth to quantify asymmetry in the intensity of the expression. based on previous findings in humans and monkeys. The outdoor area is surrounded by grate walls 6 m tall with an observation tower in one of the corners from where the chimpanzees were videotaped. The third expression was simply referred to as the silent fear expression.44–47]. Their enclosure consists of an outdoor area 200 m2 and four indoor rooms each 10 m2 . Facial expressions were recorded on 10 adults (older than 16 years of age). Three facial expressions were experimentally elicited in 8–11 marmosets. The left–left chimerics were reported to be more expressive than the right–right chimerics by 41 of the 43 human subjects. Moreover. They also recorded the distance from the midline to the side of the mouth as an indicator of asymmetry. Observations of the two groups at the Yerkes Field Station took place during July–September 1998. For each call. All walls are made of concrete and 3 m-tall glass screens. Methods 2. Procedure The chimpanzees at the Madrid zoo were studied over two 9 month periods (i.24]. USA) and the Madrid Zoo-Aquarium (Madrid. but also because they are highly social individuals with a rich repertoire of facial expressions that have been described in detail elsewhere [9. [35] description of the chimpanzee repertoire of facial emotions. including the fear grimace. Both compounds have an outdoor area approximately 550 m2 and five indoor rooms each about 12. Observations were made three times a week. the left side of the face was reported to be more expressive than the right side in the fear grimace (as reflected in the number of skin folds and height of the corner of the mouth). 9 females and 6 males. At both locations. Hauser [19] created chimerics (composites made of each half of the face paired with its mirror-reversed duplicate) of three images representing the fear grimace expression of three different individuals and asked 43 human subjects to rate which chimeric expression looked more like the original expression. silent pout. Two expressions had an accompanying vocalization and were referred to as the tisk (characterized as fearful) and the twitter expression (defined as a social contact call). Fern´ andez-Carriba et al. not only due to their close genetic relatedness to humans. at least for the negative ones. and October 1997 to June 1998). 15 subadults (between 7 and 16). and chimpanzees in particular. depending on the expression (ten different faces in each individual). 8 females and 2 males. once in the morning and twice in the afternoon. Experiment 1: objective measures 2. Subjects and setting Observations were made on a sample of 36 chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) from the Yerkes Regional Primate Research Center (YRPRC) (Atlanta.1524 S. a left side bias was found for the fear and tsik expression but no effect was found for the twitter expression.1. The aim of this study was to address the issue of brain lateralization in the production of emotions by chimpanzees by examining facial asymmetries in spontaneously produced emotional expressions. Hook-Costigan and Rogers [24] found in marmosets slightly different results compared to those reported by Hauser [19].1. all observations were recorded in the outdoor portion of their home cage. a left side asymmetry was found for the fear and tsik expression while a right side asymmetry was found for the twitter expression. Nine chimpanzees at the Madrid zoo also served as subjects. copulation grimace. Twenty seven subjects were housed at the YRPRC Field Station in two different groups with 11 belonging to one group and 16 to the other. no study has been conducted on brain asymmetries in the production of facial expressions in great apes. Spain). At the YRPRC. three times in the morning and twice in the afternoon.16.1.1. For the area measure. Whether that was the case for all three images is something that was not reported in this study. then reviewed the videotapes and categorized all present facial expressions according to morphological and functional criteria based on Parr et al. 5 females and 6 males. In addition. 2 h each time on average. This resulted in about 600 h of observation in total. Parr et al. play face. and 11 juveniles (younger than 7). surround the open area and two of the four indoor rooms. with a 4 year experience with chimpanzees.6 m2 . five times a week. open mouth threat and ear flap. would be ideal subjects for these studies. in 4–19 rhesus monkeys (the number of different expressions per individual is not specified in this study). 2. / Neuropsychologia 40 (2002) 1523–1533 two studies have explored facial asymmetries in the production of emotions in monkeys [19.e.35. chimpanzees were observed ad libitum (there was no limitation on what.44–47]). through which chimpanzees’ behavior could be recorded. Hauser [19] tested facial asymmetries in the production of four different facial expressions. [16. To our knowledge. We hypothesized that the left side of chimpanzees’ faces and hence the right hemisphere will be more involved in the production of emotional facial expressions. No single study has explored facial asymmetries in the production of facial expressions in great apes despite the fact that apes. For the distance to midline measure. silent bared-teeth display and staring bared-teeth scream face) and a neutral nonemotional category were recorded in nine .

lips fully withdrawn exposing the teeth. play face. Mouth partially open or closed. or more subjects in our sample. 1 shows a visual example of each of these expressions. another author. accompanied by a brief description in Table 1 of each expression in terms of both morphology and function. Examples of the chimpanzee’s facial expressions. No vocalizations are apparent. horizontal bared-teeth expression [45]. silent bared-teeth display [35. Silent bared-teeth display Grin [16. the categorization made by one and another observer matched in 42 out of 45 images.e. pout [47] Given most often by young infants when they are distressed. after being attacked.35. From left to right: pant-hooting.44].47]. relaxed open mouth display [35. Expression typically given in the context of play or during a friendly approach. Face is relaxed with the mouth open to expose the bottom teeth. Slightly open mouth in which the lips are pushed forward and rounded creating a small aperture. Fig. or to signal the presence of food Individuals also hoot when performing a bluff display. rasping screams. Context Used often in long-distance communication. fearful and submissive individuals. when greeting group members after separation. The interobserver reliability in categorizing the images was 93%. Most often seen in individuals who have been the focus of an attack. It includes loud harsh. It is also exhibited by adults when they are begging. It may be given when a more dominant individual is approaching.46] Staring bared-teeth scream face [35] Staring bared-teeth scream face . fully exposing the top and bottom teeth. took part in the task of selecting the best images out of the video sequences that contained facial expressions (i.44–47] Four different observers. the two same authors and two trained observers that were na¨ ıve to the study’s hypothesis.S. The upper lip may be raised slightly exposing the upper teeth. Fern´ andez-Carriba et al. A second observer. those in which the chimpanzee was facing the camera directly). 1. silent pout. / Neuropsychologia 40 (2002) 1523–1533 1525 Fig. Performed most often by nervous. Vocalizations may include a fast rhytmic staccato breathing. Mouth wide or partially open. independently categorized 25% of the facial expressions. during reconciliations or when soliciting support from another individual. silent bared-teeth display. Play face Play face [16. The fact that Morphological description Lips are pushed forward resulting in a round opening in the mouth.e. Vocalizations “hoo-hoo” occur. i. Table 1 The chimpanzee’s facial expressions recorded in the present study Expression Pant-hooting Other names Pant-hoot [16. staring bared-teeth scream face and neutral face. although the tone of this expression is one of protest rather than submission. with the mouth corners and lips retracted laterally.46] Silent pout Silent pout [35]. Video images were analyzed using frame-by-frame procedures (24 frames/s) and then digitized in a bitmap format using a video capture card (WinView 601).

respectively. this measure allowed us to compare the relative degree of asymmetry of the mouth compared to the symmetry of the image. . 11 and 30. 18 individuals in play. Data analysis For each image. we could assess the degree of variation on the frontal view of the subjects depicted in the image. a line was drawn on the face of the focal subject between the inner corners of the two eyes using the program Adobe Photoshop 4. something impossible to obtain. Therefore. a straight line was drawn from each outer corner of the mouth to the midline (mm). / Neuropsychologia 40 (2002) 1523–1533 Fig. The number of individuals subjects represented in each of the six categories were 22. assuming that brain asymmetry is not a discrete phenomenon but a continuous one. The total number of useable images of facial expressions was 183 including 39 images in the hooting category. Such FAI was calculated for both the area and length measures. one image for each subject in each category of emotional expression. Length FAIs for neutral faces were also used to adjust area FAIs because the neutral faces had their mouths closed. The midline of the face is calculated and used as a reference to put the image in an upright position. where possible. 14 images in the pout category. 1 FAI values were calculated also for the measures of the distance from the outer corners of the eyes to the midline. 9 in pout.0. positive values as right asymmetry and 0 as symmetry). Both area and length were measured using Scion Image (Scion Corporation. based on previously published procedures [24]. the measure of the left hemimouth was subtracted from the measure of the right hemimouth and divided by the sum of right and left measures (right − left)/(right + left) to derive a facial asymmetry index (FAI). 2.1. the sample was reduced from 183 images to 120 usable measures from 22 different individuals in the hooting category. a line surrounding the inner side of the mouth perimeter was drawn and the surface calculated (mm2 ). 2. the cleanest and most head-on was selected. because only frontal images were used. To measure the area.4.1526 S. For this. 1 Values of −1 or +1 would be the extreme cases of facial asymmetry in which all the mouth would be respectively in the left and right side of the face. The distance between the outer corners of the eyes to the midline is also measured. Example of the manipulation of an image. 20. was employed in this study. Second. A perpendicular line that split the face into two halves was then drawn at the midpoint (see Fig. The FAI was based on other lateral bias indices (handedness indices) that some investigators working with nonhuman primates have adopted (for example [26. and two. at least. CA) and its midpoint was calculated. 29 images in the play category. we calculated the distance between the outer corner of each eye to the midline for all the images using the program Scion Image (see Fig.1. A criterion used in the selection was to obtain. For the hemimouth length. 2). The image was then vertically rotated until the midline made a perfect 90◦ angle with the horizontal line. 9. 19 images in scream face and 51 neutral faces. (Adobe Systems Incorporated. 31 images in the silent bared-teeth. With respect to the measures of length and area. This served two purposes: First. 2).27]). 20 in silent bared-teeth and 30 in the neutral category.3. 18. the first step was to calculate the average FAI in the case of those subjects for which we had more than one image in a category. chimpanzees had been recorded during their natural interactions limited the number of useful frames to usually one in each suitable sequence. To obtain these data. Fern´ andez-Carriba et al. 2. we also tried to prevent the use of portraits that were not absolutely frontal. Quantification of asymmetry in facial expression An objective index of facial asymmetry. Following the procedure used by Hook-Costigan and Rogers [24]. using a freehand tool. If more than one frame was found in the same sequence. San Jose. Frederick. based on this measure. and it allowed us to compare the asymmetries of images with different pixel densities and resolutions and interpret them in the same way (negative values as left asymmetry. In order to prevent the influence of peripheral morphological factors (like the width of each half of a subject’s face) on emotional expressions asymmetries. This index consisted of the length and area measures of the left and right hemimouth for each facial expression. Maryland) (see Fig. 3).1. we subtracted the length FAI calculated for each subject in the neutral category from their corresponding FAI in the rest of the emotion categories.

65. despite the dropping of the lower jaw when relaxed is fairly common among chimpanzees [16].01). silent pout. n. d. / Neuropsychologia 40 (2002) 1523–1533 1527 Fig.f . = 17. P < 0. None of the analyses revealed significant differences.s. measures 1 and 2 were not significantly different from . indicating that on average the images were depicting faces that were head-on. = 17. d. However. silent bared-teeth and scream face categories deviated significantly to the left. even this minimal deviation was taken into consideration when analyzing hemimouth asymmetries. Fern´ andez-Carriba et al. an area measure could have only been derived for the neutral face with great difficulty and a high chance of error. From left to right: pant-hooting. Population-level biases in facial expression were tested using a one-sample t-test and compared not to 0 (perfect symmetry) but to the FAI measure that was derived from the category average for the distances from the outer corner of the eyes to the middle line.f . P < 0.S. = 49. With respect to area measures. P < 0.05. This was done to determine whether there was significantly more bias toward a greater exposure of one side or the other of the faces that comprised the data set. hooting. play and scream face no average reached statistical significance when compared with 0 (P > 0. Results An independent observer who was naive to the hypotheses of our study measured hemimouth lengths and areas in 38 different images (10% of the sample in each case). silent bared-teeth display. their FAIs in the emotion categories remained the same.f .f . = 71. see Tables 2 and 3 for test values used in the t-test). accordingly. However. d. play and silent bared-teeth also showed a significant leftward asymmetry. In the case of those individuals for whom we had two different images from the same expression category (72 dyads). the case in nine neutral expressions analyzed). play face.2. Thus. The correlations for both length and area measures. indeed. d. n. Six subjects were not represented in the neutral category and. for length and r = 0. Although the left side was slightly overrepresented in the categories of pout. 3. The FAIs calculated for the distance from the outer corner of each eye to the middle line in each image were analyzed using a one-sample t-test.s. N = 132. silent bared-teeth and neutral and the right side in hooting. for area). staring bared-teeth scream face and neutral face.01) and area (r = 0. The results indicated that length measures in the hooting. which suggests a low consistency of facial asymmetry across the two different facial expressions of the same emotion. Listed in Tables 2 and 3 are the mean FAIs for each expression type and associated t-values.20 in all cases.00). Examples of length and area measures in the different categories. These data were then correlated with the primary observers measures in order to assess inter-rater reliability in the measurement of asymmetries.75. The correlation between the two hemimouth measures (length and area) taken in each image was positive and significant (r = 0. significant correlations were found.15. like if their neutral FAI was 0 (this was. For both the length (r = 0. we correlated the facial asymmetry indexes obtained for the two images. were positive but nonsignificant (r = 0. 2.72.

1528 S. and both length and area measures was significant only in the case of area FAIs in two categories.003543 0.767 −1.066754 −0. mouth length might be an appropriate physical feature to measure facial asymmetry only in those displays in which the mouth is drawn horizontally and not so much in those expressions in . as demonstrated by an analysis and control for each individual neutral portrait. Moreover.s.008189 0. on the other hand.027733 −0.057860 Mean FAI (%) 53 54 52 52 53 S.103 −2. these facial asymmetries seem to reflect a functional asymmetry in the production of emotional behavior.577 −2. Values under 50 represent right bias.830∗ −2.02365 0. No significant effect of sex was found in any of the categories for neither length nor area measures. as demonstrated by measures of the distance between the outer corner of the eyes to the middle line of the face. the left hemimouth area was larger than the right in the facial expressions of hooting.042∗∗ −0. 0. 0.011 −2. Values under 50 represent right bias.452∗ −0. a Silent bared-teeth.615 Test values 0. Spearman correlations between such handedness punctuations and the length and area measures were not significant in any of the categories.0062194 −0.03167 0.077481 −0. Age was then considered as a covariable in a following analysis of covariance in which sex was the only fixed factor.E. n. sex and handedness) on results from Experiment 1 was analyzed. These findings are not the result of a greater exposure of the left side of the chimpanzees’ faces in the recorded images.003965 −0.01509 0. a Silent bared-teeth. Play. P < 0. 50 represents symmetry and values over 50 represent left asymmetry.039614 −0.e.007842 0.0001915 −0. / Neuropsychologia 40 (2002) 1523–1533 Table 2 Category averages for the FAIs based on the mouth length N Hooting Play Pout SBTa Scream face Neutral 22 18 9 20 11 30 Mean FAI (mm) −0. A Pearson product moment correlation between the age of the chimpanzees.0029232 The percentage of left bias in each facial expression is also given as a means to help to understand the data %FAI = left /(left + right ) × 100.042790 −0.005281 t (two-tailed) −2. ∗ P < 0.041991 −0.01. play (r = 0. is mainly controlled by the contralateral hemisphere. %FAI = left/(left + right ) × 100. The fact that the left bias was not significant in the pout category in either the length nor the area measure is probably due to the limited representation of the pout expressions in the sample (nine subjects).03303 0. ∗∗ P ≤ 0.60.02487 0.0049855 0.02940 t −2. each other either. Table 3 Category averages for the FAIs based on the mouth area N Hooting Play Pout SBTa Scream face 22 18 9 20 11 Mean FAI (mm) −0. hemimouth length) of such emotional expression.826∗∗ Test values (two-tailed) 0. for area). taken as a continuous variable.01575 0. play and silent bared-teeth. that means that the right hemisphere is more involved than the left in the production of emotional expressions by chimpanzees. the possible influence of demographic characteristics of the chimpanzees (age. these asymmetries are not merely an extension of morphological asymmetries in the chimpanzees’ faces.77. according to a paired t-test (t (71) = 0. so we must conclude that left facial asymmetry in the play face category did not take place in all components (i.0061722 Mean FAI (%) 52 51 52 51 51 50 S.0001915 −0.05. 50 represents symmetry and values over 50 represent left asymmetry.816∗ −4. P < 0.01).75.028045 −0.s. from extremely left-handed to extremely right-handed. Fern´ andez-Carriba et al.39]. However. If the lower portion of the face in chimpanzees. n. seems fairly well represented (18 subjects). Finally. −1.93. The limited sample in the scream category (11 subjects) probably accounts for the lack of significance in the area measure.003965 Percentage of left bias in each facial expression is given.017953 −0.01. On the contrary. ∗∗ P ≤ 0.0062194 −0. +1. Regarding handedness. +3 or +5).0049855 0. for length and t (50) = 0.05. −3.E. silent-bared-teeth and scream face.01) and scream (r = −0.3.06340 0. 35 of the 36 subjects of the sample received a punctuation (−5.892∗∗ −0. like in humans [3. according to their performance in two tasks of food manipulation described elsewhere [28]. Discussion According to our results.003543 0.047683 −0. ∗ P < 0. 2. and it extended laterally more than the right in the categories of hooting.

At the onset of testing.) and verbally instructed to select the most emotionally intense chimpanzee’s facial expression within each dyad.1. Each dyad 2 The equivalence mm/pixels is 1/2. (Having chimpanzees judge the emotional information in human facial expressions has also been done.1.1. the final set of stimuli consisted of 110 pairs of chimeric stimuli created from each original image. the next step in this study was to obtain an assessment of emotional asymmetry in chimpanzees’ facial expressions by having human subjects assess the intensity of expressions in each half of the face (left versus right). sex [4] or handedness [5]. Each half was then duplicated and paired with its mirror-reversed version. which resulted in the creation of two chimeric stimuli. The orientation of the dyads was horizontal in order to better adjust them to the shape of a computer screen. followed by icon one. Whether this facial asymmetry is consistent within individuals is something that our study cannot address. No one had any expertise on chimpanzees’ behavior and all of them were also naive regarding the hypothesis and procedures of this study. sex and handedness. handedness. are isolated results and. Upon selecting a dialog box. The size of the chimeric stimuli was approximately the same as the original images.1. Upon clicking icon one. most of the recent studies about facial asymmetries in emotional behavior in human primates have not found systematic patterns according to age [31]. the LL chimeric was on the left 50% of the times). 3.e. and the position (left or right) of the LL and RR chimerics was counterbalanced across the images (i. like play. subjects were asked to sign a consent form and subsequently seated in front of the computer.0. 3. time during which the pair of chimeric stimuli were exposed was unlimited. the findings described here do not seem to have been influenced by demographic variables like age. On the other hand. Stimuli In order to prevent subjects’ fatigue. Therefore.12598. who participated in the task as part of class requirements. for that reason. The images were then cut 1–21 pixels approximately (0. The objective asymmetry index obtained so far provided a measure of the differential involvement of the muscles that control each hemimouth during the production of facial expressions.5–10 mm. The subjects were instructed to click on icon one to initiate testing. and that the same ones had a bigger left side in scream.3. that information is limited to a very particular feature and the extent to which it can be translated into “emotional involvement” of each side of the face is arguable. The subjects were instructed to continue in this sequence until the program terminated and all the stimuli had been presented.1. 24 females and 23 males. The vertical midline obtained for the objective measure was now used to split the face into two halves. Facial expressions rarely persist more than 5 s but they are part of dynamic interactions in which the face moves and transitions from one expression to another and the magnitude of the facial asymmetry varies along the whole sequence in both human [38] and nonhuman primates [24]. randomly selecting only one image per chimpanzee and category in the cases where there were two. Below each image were two additional dialog boxes labeled “left picture” or “right picture”. Experiment 2: subjective measures 3.S. see [32]). difficult to interpret. Procedure The stimuli were displayed and the responses were recorded by a program written in Visual Basic 6. Methods 3. 4). Thus. 3. the subjects were instructed to click on icon two. The subjects were further instructed to click when ready on the dialog box corresponding to the image that they perceived as being the more intense expression. the number of facial expressions was reduced to 110 color images. the lack of correlation between the measures of the two different images of the same individual within the same expression category cannot be accurately interpreted since they could have been easily taken at different intensity peaks of the expression sequence. Because human primates have developed particularly good skills in the course of evolution to interpret information coming from facial stimuli [12] they have been traditionally used as judges in tasks that required an emotional assessment of human faces [4. a window on the computer screen was displayed with three icons positioned on the right of the window. a pair of chimeric stimuli were displayed on the screen. Although some researchers [25] have reported in chimpanzees an increase as a function of age in the strength of another functional brain asymmetry.2. Accordingly. However. 2 The resulting first shot was enlarged or lessened to homogenize the size of all images to 70 mm × 82 mm. Fern´ andez-Carriba et al. The fact that the oldest subjects exhibited a bigger area on the right side only in the case of the play category. / Neuropsychologia 40 (2002) 1523–1533 1529 which the mouth is opened vertically rather than horizontally. One icon was labeled “click here to display new image” a second one was labeled “click here to clear screen” and the last one was labeled “exit”. For similar reasons. . Participants The human sample consisted of 47 college students. one made of two left halves of the original image (LL) and one right–right chimeric stimulus (RR) (see Fig. The observational approach taken to record the chimpanzees’ facial expressions in this study. Subjects were individually tested on a PC with a screen (19 in. could be taken.) above and below the head of the chimpanzee and 0–4 pixels approximately (0–2 mm) at the left and right of their ears.5] and also rhesus monkeys’ faces [19]. it severely limited the data collection and no repeated measures. rather than a second image for some subjects. The program was initiated by the experimenter. Upon arrival at the laboratory. although it had the advantage of a great ecological validity and the accuracy of the registered emotions.

842∗ 1. Results The proportion of trials on which each subject selected the LL chimeric image relative to the RR was calculated for each image and averaged across each expression type.982∗ 1. Fern´ andez-Carriba et al.219∗ Test values (two-tailed) 50 50 50 50 50 50 47 47 47 47 47 47 P < 0. Discussion The human judgements of the emotional intensity of the left and right side of the chimpanzees’ facial expressions were consistent with the objective indexes of facial asymmetry in the case of the play and silent bared-teeth categories. i. Left–left chimerics are in the top and the right–right ones in the bottom.113 4. 3. one of the cues they were paying attention to was the size of the Mean % of left– left preference 52 58 54 59 53 54 S. was presented only once. The low but significant correlation between their judgement and the area measures indicates that. Silent bared-teeth. n. at least. P < 0. staring bared-teeth scream face and neutral face. checking either both or neither of the dialog boxes under the images). = 108. Having humans judging the emotional intensity of human chimeric stimuli has been a traditional method to explore facial asymmetries in emotional behavior (see [4] for a review on the human literature). d. some authors have suggested that judges may be more sensitive than facial coding procedures in capturing the nuances of human communicative facial expression [7]. The mean percentage of LL preference for each category within the sample was then calculated. each hemimouth length and area) and the asymmetry in the emotional intensity assessed by the human judges.1530 S. play face. / Neuropsychologia 40 (2002) 1523–1533 Fig. 3. Examples of chimerics in the different categories.3.f .6143 2. relative to the total number of human subjects. d.6722 1.) and area (r = 0. = 78. however.5407 2.e. were assessing facial expressions of a different species and one in which they had no familiarity.490 3.36.01) measures of the very same images were positive in both cases but only significant in the case of the area measures.E.3417 t 1. We also explored the relationship between the asymmetry found in the physical characteristics of the facial Table 4 Mean percentage of left–left choices per category N Hooting Play Pout SBTa Scream face Neutral ∗ a expressions (in particular.2.f .e. SFAI = (# of left − # of right)/(# of left and right).10. the majority of the human subjects considered the left–left composites as being the most intense facial expressions. .497 5. was significantly higher than 50%) in the emotional categories of play.9504 1. silent bared-teeth display. unless the subject failed to make an accurate response (i. In fact. silent pout.s. silent bared-teeth and also in the neutral category (see Table 4). a “subjective” facial asymmetry index (SFAI) was calculated for each of the images viewed by the human observers. Overall. 4.1417 1. From left to right: pant-hooting. Pearson product moment correlations between the SFAIs and the “objective” FAIs obtained for the length (r = 0. With this in mind.e. That preference reached statistical significance (i. 1. The human judges in this study. The order of presentation followed four different possibilities that were counterbalanced across subjects. The new SFAI was based on the number of subjects who had selected the left–left chimeric versus the number that had selected the right–right chimeric. in which case the same dyad was presented immediately afterwards.01.

Foley’s experiment had failed to demonstrate the ability of college students to accurately identify six chimpanzee facial expressions. on the other hand. as concluded from studies of homology between human an nonhuman primates [9].50]. like the size of the mouth. hooting. i. Some discussion of the nonsignificant preference (although towards the left half of the chimpanzees’ faces) found in the case of three emotional categories (hooting. we objectively measured physical differences between the left and right side of the chimpanzees’ faces. we used human judgement capitalizing on the sophisticated skills humans posses to interpret the configurational information in facial features. part of the whole communicative behavior. silent bared-teeth and scream face). In fact. Apparently.36] since it would make no evolutionary sense that the perception and production of vocalizations were in opposite hemispheres. by vocalizations (all but silent bared-teeth and the neutral category). play. The same face-processing mechanism could be invoked to explain the results regarding the neutral category. among others. This would imply that the naive human observers in this study may have understood to some extent chimpanzee emotions and approached their faces in similar ways as they would human faces. These authors showed how chimpanzees were able to distinctly categorize photographs of their own facial expressions (including. on the other hand. humans with no previous chimpanzee experience may be able to correctly identify many chimpanzee facial expressions. for example. Our results are then contradictory with the left hemisphere advantage reported in monkeys processing or discriminating species-specific auditory stimuli [20–22. Future research should attempt to asses separately the upper and lower halves of chimpanzees’ chimeric faces. they replicate what has been traditionally and consistently reported in the case of humans judging humans. [41]). What made them consider the left side of the chimpanzees’ faces as the most emotionally intense is something that future research should address. pout and scream face) and the significant left preference in the neutral category seems warranted. General discussion To our knowledge. as suggested by Ekman’s [13] review of Foley’s [14] classic study. The accompanying vocalizations of such visual signals are. but once Ekman obtained a second categorization of these emotions. skills that are believed to be innate in the case of humans judging humans (see. However. Notwithstanding. In fact. found that two had been labeled incorrectly and that the three of the four remaining expressions had been identified by the students significantly above chance levels (Foley did not perform statistics). the two halves of the resting face reflect different qualities [40. was well represented (22 subjects) and the physical evidence of facial asymmetries very consistent. 4. Thus. The facial expressions in this study which were left sided according to judges or measurement techniques had both positive and negative valence and half of them were accompanied. Fern´ andez-Carriba et al. Both the objective and the subjective indexes of facial asymmetry show that the left side of the chimpanzee’s face. Experiment 1 in our study was not necessarily measuring facial asymmetry similarly as Experiment 2. In . / Neuropsychologia 40 (2002) 1523–1533 1531 chimpanzee mouth. we have demonstrated that the left side of chimpanzees faces is more involved than the right in the production of emotional behavior. and hence the right hemisphere. Whether these subjects were taking into account other single features of the chimpanzees’ faces or applying their innate abilities to process human emotions in the assessment of very similar stimuli is a question that remains unanswered. Although only the silent bared-teeth display was consistently asymmetric on all measures. is more involved than the left hemisphere in the production of facial expressions of emotion. [34]. Hooting.S. future studies should not only attempt to replicate Ekman’s findings but also have human judges with a high level of expertise in chimpanzee’s behavior judging chimpanzees’ chimeric facial expressions. to a greater or lesser extent. The hooting category may be unique among the human-rated chimpanzee expressions because it does not resemble any human emotional facial expression either morphologically or functionally. where human judgements were possibly influenced by the upper 1/3 of the face (under bilateral hemispheric control). Taking advantage of the procedures used by studies with similar objectives. in which both trained judges and muscle quantification have found that facial expressions are left sided [4]. It is again unlikely that humans simply took into account the length or size of the mouth of the chimpanzees’ expressions to make their judgement. it could be the case that the human subjects would have failed in their attempt to make a judgement about the intensity of that particular emotion (but not in the other cases) basing it on their skills to process human expressions instead of consciously looking at single features. this resembles the findings coming from the human facial asymmetry literature. The limited size of the sample in the pout and scream categories (9 and 11 subjects respectively) might account once again for the lack of significance in the subjective measures despite the presence of a left bias. Notwithstanding. play. how that upper portion of the chimpanzee face affected results from Experiment 2 cannot be assessed in the present study. since their value as visual communicative discrete signals has been documented and recently demonstrated by Parr et al. both judges and area measures found similar patterns of asymmetry in another category. Unfortunately. In addition. Following Hook-Costigan and Rogers [24]. this is the first study to explore and report facial asymmetries in the production of emotions in chimpanzees. they cannot be simply considered as vocalizations. a behavior that has been shown in our study to be mainly controlled by the right hemisphere. like it has been done in human studies [5].e.

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