The eyes are sufficient to produce a threat superiority effect

Emotion. 2006 Aug;6(3):534-9. doi: 10.1037/1528-3542.6.3.534.


The research described in this article used a visual search task and demonstrated that the eye region alone can produce a threat superiority effect. Indeed, the magnitude of the threat superiority effect did not increase with whole-face, relative to eye-region-only, stimuli. The authors conclude that the configuration of the eyes provides a key signal of threat, which can mediate the search advantage for threat-related facial expressions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anger
  • Arousal*
  • Discrimination Learning
  • Emotions*
  • Eye*
  • Facial Expression*
  • Female
  • Happiness
  • Humans
  • Nonverbal Communication*
  • Orientation
  • Pattern Recognition, Visual*
  • Reaction Time