Volume 13(1), 2017-05, 32—57

Body, Space, and Emotion: A Perceptual Study

Donald Glowinski
Neuroscience of Emotion and Affective Dynamics (NEAD Lab), Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences,
and the Swiss Center for Affective Sciences (SCAS), University of Geneva
and
Swiss Integrative Center for Human Health (SICHH), Fribourg
Switzerland

Sélim Yahia Coll
Neuroscience of Emotion and Affective Dynamics (NEAD Lab), Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences,
and the Swiss Center for Affective Sciences (SCAS), University of Geneva
Switzerland

Naëm Baron
Neuroscience of Emotion and Affective Dynamics (NEAD Lab), Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences,
University of Geneva
Switzerland

Maëva Sanchez
Neuroscience of Emotion and Affective Dynamics (NEAD Lab), Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences,
University of Geneva
Switzerland

Simon Schaerlaeken
Neuroscience of Emotion and Affective Dynamics (NEAD Lab), Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences,
and the Swiss Center for Affective Sciences (SCAS), University of Geneva
Switzerland

Didier Grandjean
Neuroscience of Emotion and Affective Dynamics (NEAD Lab), Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences,
and the Swiss Center for Affective Sciences (SCAS), University of Geneva
Switzerland

The present study aims at providing a systematic account of emotion perception applied to expressive full-body movement. Within the framework of the lens model, we identified the decoding process underlying one’s capacity to categorize emotions while watching others’ behaviors. We considered the application of Laban movement analysis, a method focusing on qualitative aspects of movement. An original experimental setup used a contemporary choreography interpreted by four expert dancers in an environment that restricted their movement to their peripersonal space. Each performance consisted of a subtle or intense emotional interpretation of the choreography (e.g., happiness, anger, surprise, fear, and sadness). Results showed that emotions being expressed in this confined environment could still be identified, categorized, and associated with a profile of movement qualities and specific body parts.

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