The Body as a Tool for Anger Awareness--Differential Effects of Angry Facial and Bodily Expressions on Suppression from Awareness

PLoS One. 2015 Oct 15;10(10):e0139768. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0139768. eCollection 2015.


Emotional signals are perceived whether or not we are aware of it. The evidence so far mostly came from studies with facial expressions. Here, we investigated whether the pattern of non-conscious face expression perception is found for whole body expressions. Continuous flash suppression (CFS) was used to measure the time for neutral, fearful, and angry facial or bodily expressions to break from suppression. We observed different suppression time patterns for emotions depending on whether the stimuli were faces or bodies. The suppression time for anger was shortest for bodily expressions, but longest for the facial expressions. This pattern indicates different processing and detection mechanisms for faces and bodies outside awareness, and suggests that awareness mechanisms associated with dorsal structures might play a role in becoming conscious of angry bodily expressions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anger*
  • Awareness*
  • Facial Expression*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Young Adult

Grants and funding

The work was partly funded by the project TANGO. The project TANGO acknowledges the financial support of the Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) programme within the Seventh Framework Programme for Research of the European Commission (, under FET- Open grant number: 249858. BdG has also received funding from the European Research Council under the European Union’s Seventh Frame-Work Programme (FP7/2007–2013)/ ERC grant agreement number 295673. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.