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FERNANDES, Alexandre  and  GARCIA-MARQUES, Teresa. The impact of facial expression on time perception: The role of valence and arousal. Psicologia [online]. 2010, vol.24, n.2, pp.61-88. ISSN 0874-2049.

The emotional nature of a facial expression seems to favour a bias regarding the perception of its duration. In this paper we present a study that tests the hypothesis that this effect will be moderated by the emotional dimensions of facial expressions (valence and arousal), addressing its explanation in terms of processes that interfere with the functioning of an “internal clock”, including activation and attentional processes. Using a temporal bisection task with duration between 400 and 1600 ms, the results suggest a valence effect: The duration of the negative faces is overestimated in relation to positive faces. This effect was moderated by the intensity of emotional expressions (arousal), but only in the low arousal condition. In the high arousal condition positive and negative faces were identically estimated. The fact that this interaction has been found only in short time windows, suggests a concurrent interference of activation and attentional processes. This explanation is discussed in the article, taking into account its limitations.

Keywords : facial expression; time perception; emotion; valence; arousal.

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