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Effects of Brain Laterality on Decoding Accuracy for Facial Displays of Emotion
Unformatted Document Text:  Effects of Brain 22 participants were older, on average, than our participants, they had more experience on which to draw when making decoding decisions regarding emotions whose expressions are more complex (and more challenging to interpret) than those of the basic emotions. 6 This conjecture is supported by post hoc analyses of our own data, which indicated a significant linear relationship between age and overall decoding accuracy, r (522) = .09, p = .04. To explore this issue further, we calculated separate accuracy scores for the basic and complex emotions, and conducted correlations between age and those scores separately. We discovered that age was not significantly related to decoding accuracy for the basic emotions, r (522) = -.05, p = .27, but was significantly related to decoding accuracy for the complex emotions, r (522) = .14, p = .002. These correlation coefficients differ significantly from each other, t (521) = 26.46, p < .001. Overall, the results of the current investigation point to the interaction between biological sex and neurological hemispheric dominance as one precursor for the ability to decode facial affect displays accurately. Certainly, there is evidence to suggest that this interaction effect, and/or the main effects of sex and hemispheric dominance, could also influence other communicative competencies, and we are investigating these possibilities in research currently underway. Of course, neither we nor anyone working in communibiology would suggest that neuroanatomy is the only influence on communicative behavior; researchers in evolutionary psychology, communibiology, and psychobiology agree that social behavior is affected by interactions between nature and nurture (for an excellent contemporary discussion, see Pinker, 2002). Rather, we propose that a fuller understanding of human social interaction will elude communication researchers until they incorporate relevant data from these fields.

Authors: Floyd, Kory. and Mikkelson, Alan.
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Effects of Brain 22
participants were older, on average, than our participants, they had more experience on which to
draw when making decoding decisions regarding emotions whose expressions are more complex
(and more challenging to interpret) than those of the basic emotions.
6
This conjecture is supported by post hoc analyses of our own data, which indicated a
significant linear relationship between age and overall decoding accuracy, r (522) = .09, p = .04.
To explore this issue further, we calculated separate accuracy scores for the basic and complex
emotions, and conducted correlations between age and those scores separately. We discovered
that age was not significantly related to decoding accuracy for the basic emotions, r (522) = -.05,
p = .27, but was significantly related to decoding accuracy for the complex emotions, r (522) =
.14, p = .002. These correlation coefficients differ significantly from each other, t (521) = 26.46,
p < .001.
Overall, the results of the current investigation point to the interaction between biological
sex and neurological hemispheric dominance as one precursor for the ability to decode facial
affect displays accurately. Certainly, there is evidence to suggest that this interaction effect,
and/or the main effects of sex and hemispheric dominance, could also influence other
communicative competencies, and we are investigating these possibilities in research currently
underway. Of course, neither we nor anyone working in communibiology would suggest that
neuroanatomy is the only influence on communicative behavior; researchers in evolutionary
psychology, communibiology, and psychobiology agree that social behavior is affected by
interactions between nature and nurture (for an excellent contemporary discussion, see Pinker,
2002). Rather, we propose that a fuller understanding of human social interaction will elude
communication researchers until they incorporate relevant data from these fields.


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