Examining the Visual Screening Patterns of Emotional Facial Expressions with Gender, Age and Lateralization

TAVAT B., ALTUN A., Askar P., BARAN Z., Mazman S. G.

JOURNAL OF EYE MOVEMENT RESEARCH, vol.6, no.4, 2013 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 6 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Keywords: facial expressions, eye-tracking, emotions, age, gender, lateralization, SEX-DIFFERENCES, RECOGNITION, IDENTIFICATION, FACES, PERCEPTION, BUBBLES, VALENCE, SEARCH, MEMORY, EYES
  • TED University Affiliated: Yes


The main objective of the study is to investigate the effects of age of model, gender of observer, and lateralization on visual screening patterns while looking at the emotional facial expressions. Data were collected through eye tracking methodology. The areas of interests were set to include eyes, nose and mouth. The selected eye metrics were first fixation duration, fixation duration and fixation count. Those eye tracking metrics were recorded for different emotional expressions (sad, happy, neutral), and conditions (the age of model, part of face and lateralization). The results revealed that participants looked at the older faces shorter in time and fixated their gaze less compared to the younger faces. This study also showed that when participants were asked to passively look at the face expressions, eyes were important areas in determining sadness and happiness, whereas eyes and noise were important in determining neutral expression. The longest fixated face area was on eyes for both young and old models. Lastly, hemispheric lateralization hypothesis regarding emotional face process was supported.