ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

心理学报 ›› 2023, Vol. 55 ›› Issue (11): 1745-1761.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2023.01745

• 研究报告 •    下一篇


汪海玲(), 陈恩光, 连玉净, 李晶晶, 王丽薇   

  1. 山东师范大学心理学院, 济南 250358
  • 收稿日期:2022-12-28 发布日期:2023-08-30 出版日期:2023-11-25
  • 通讯作者: 汪海玲, E-mail:
  • 基金资助:

Automatic processing of facial width-to-height ratio

WANG Hailing(), CHEN Enguang, LIAN Yujing, LI Jingjing, WANG Liwei   

  1. School of Psychology, Shandong Normal University, Jinan 250358, China
  • Received:2022-12-28 Online:2023-08-30 Published:2023-11-25


研究发现, 高低面孔宽高比(facial width-to-height ratio, fWHR)在表征某男性个体实际攻击性或预测他人评价该男性个体的攻击性行为水平上存在差异, 高fWHR较低fWHR个体不仅有更强的攻击性, 也被他人评价为有更高的攻击倾向。但是, 其中的神经机制尚不清楚, 尤其是非注意条件下二者的加工机制。因而, 本研究以视觉失匹配负波(visual mismatch negativity, vMMN)为指标, 考察非注意条件下高低fWHR加工的神经机制。实验1给被试呈现中性情绪面孔, 要求被试完成注视点大小探测任务。结果发现, 高fWHR在200~500 ms, 而低fWHR在200~250 ms和300~350 ms诱发vMMN, 在300~350 ms高fWHR比低fWHR诱发的vMMN更大。实验2呈现愤怒和恐惧面孔, 结果发现, 愤怒情绪高fWHR在200~250 ms和300~400 ms诱发了vMMN, 而恐惧情绪低fWHR在左半球250~400 ms诱发vMMN。对比实验1和实验2发现, 愤怒情绪较中性情绪降低了高fWHR的vMMN。这些结果表明, 与个体感知攻击性水平密切相关的fWHR的自动加工可能受情绪信息的影响, 愤怒情绪促进高fWHR自动加工, 而恐惧情绪促进低fWHR自动加工; 但可能受情绪自动加工的影响使得愤怒情绪较中性情绪减弱了高fWHR的自动加工程度。

关键词: 面孔, 宽高比, 情绪, 视觉失匹配负波(vMMN), 自动加工


The facial width-to-height ratio (fWHR) is a stable perceptual structure of all faces. It is calculated by dividing the face width (the distance between the left and right zygion) by the face height (the distance between the eyebrow and the upper lip). Previous studies have demonstrated that men's facial width-to-height ratio is a reliable clue to noticing aggressive tendencies and behavior. Individuals with higher fWHR were considered by observers as more aggressive than those with lower fWHR. The researchers proposed that this may be related to facial expression. Observers more readily saw anger in faces with a relatively high fWHR and more readily saw fear in faces with a relatively low fWHR. However, it is unclear what the neural mechanism of fWHR is, particularly in the absence of attention. The present study investigated this issue by recording visual mismatch negativity (vMMN), which indicates automatic processing of visual information under unattended conditions.
Participants performed a size-change-detection task on a central cross, while random sequences of faces were presented in the background using a deviant-standard-reverse oddball paradigm. High fWHR faces (deviant stimuli) were presented less frequently among low fWHR faces (standard stimuli), or vice versa. Forty-one and twenty-five Chinese participated in Experiment 1 and 2, respectively. We hypothesized that faces with high fWHR would elicit a larger vMMN compared to faces with low fWHR. If the above result is related to the fact that high fWHR faces appear angrier and low fWHR faces appear more fearful, then high fWHR faces displaying an angry expression would evoke vMMN and low fWHR faces displaying a fearful expression would evoke vMMN.
In Experiment 1, faces with neutral expressions were used. The occipital-temporal vMMN emerged in the latency range of 200~500 ms for faces with high fWHR and in the latency range of 200~250 ms and 300~350 ms for faces with low fWHR. More importantly, faces with high fWHR elicited a higher vMMN than those with low fWHR faces in the 300~350 ms latency range. In Experiment 2, faces with expressions of fear and anger were used. Results showed that high-fWHR faces displaying an angry expression elicited a vMMN in the 200~250 ms and 300~400 ms latency ranges, while low-fWHR faces displaying a fearful expression elicited a vMMN in the 250~400 ms latency range, especially in the left hemisphere. Comparing Experiment 1 and 2, we found that faces with high fWHR displaying an angry expression elicited smaller vMMN than those displaying a neutral expression.
In conclusion, the present findings suggest that the facial width-to-height ratio is associated with automatic processing and provide new electrophysiological evidence for the different mechanisms underlying high and low fWHR faces under unattended conditions. The results might be related to facial expressions. Consistent with previous studies, the current finding demonstrates that automatic processing of high and low fWHR is promoted by expressions of anger and fear, respectively. At the same time, due to the automatic processing of facial expressions, the automatic processing of faces with high fWHR was weakened by angry faces relative to neutral faces.

Key words: face, facial width-to-height ratio, emotion, vMMN, automatic processing