ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2015, Vol. 23 ›› Issue (6): 946-958.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2015.00946

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Categorical Perception of Facial Expression and Its Individual Differences

QIU Fanghui1; LUO Yuejia2; JIA Shiwei1   

  1. (1 School of Psychology, Shandong Normal University, Jinan, 250358) (2 Institute of Affective and Social Neuroscience, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen, 518060)
  • Received:2014-09-28 Online:2015-06-25 Published:2015-06-25
  • Contact: JIA Shiwei,E-mail:


Categorical perception (CP) effect of facial expression is that facial expressions varying continuously are perceived in human brain as belonging to qualitatively discrete categories, with a clear categorical boundary between different emotional expressions. In this paper, the behavior and ERP experiment paradigms and the fundamental research were introduced, and the influence on CP effect of facial expression of aggression, depression, schizophrenia as well as social anxiety disorder and the developmental research of CP were summarized. The review indicates that CP research could reveal the categorical boundary and its deviation of emotional perception among different individuals, which contributes to the explanation of their corresponding social behaviors. Future research should pay more attention to the individual difference and neural mechanism underlying CP effect of facial expression.

Key words: facial expression, categorical perception, categorical boundary, individual difference