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Differentiating recognition for anger and fear facial expressions via inhibition of return.

The goal of this study was to find out whether two negative emotions—fear and anger, known for their attention grabbing capacity-are equally prone to the detection cost or habituation of attention as measured by IOR. This study adopted the more ecological meaning of the video screenshots as target stimulus; the finding was that anger relative to fear could override the IOR effect. We discussed this differentiation according to the two cognitive systems one evolved for mastery of the natural environment, the other for purposes of social harmony in the evolutionary framework, anger poses a social/relational threat, whereas fear refers to threat that comes from the environment.

Author(s): Sun Juncai, Zhao Jing, Shi Rongb