Mariska E Kret

Mariska E Kret
Leiden University | LEI · Institute of Psychology

PhD

About

82
Publications
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3,179
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Publications

Publications (82)
Article
Full-text available
Humans are social animals whose well-being is shaped by the ability to attract and connect with one another, often through brief interactions. In addition to physical features, a choreography of movements, physical reactions and subtle expressions may help promote attraction. Here, we measured the physiological dynamics between pairs of participant...
Article
Full-text available
Research has shown that pupil size shapes interpersonal impressions: Individuals with dilated pupils tend to be perceived more positively than those with constricted pupils. Untested so far is the role of cognitive processes in shaping the effects of pupil size. Two pre-registered studies investigated whether the effect of pupil size is qualified b...
Article
Full-text available
Cooperation is pivotal for society to flourish. To foster cooperation, humans express and read intentions via explicit signals and subtle reflections of arousal visible in the face. Evidence is accumulating that humans synchronize these nonverbal expressions and the physiological mechanisms underlying them, potentially influencing cooperation. The...
Preprint
Despite the discontent, cruelty, and warfare that fill the daily news, people show tremendous capacities to help and cooperate with others. Prosocial behavior is used as an umbrella term capturing the diversity of selfless acts. As such, researchers have developed a variety of tasks and it is crucial to verify that they measure the same underlying...
Preprint
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Interpersonal synchrony is a widely studied phenomenon. A great challenge is to statistically capture the dynamics of social interactions with fluctuating levels of synchrony and varying delays between responses of individuals. Windowed Cross-Correlation analysis accounts for both characteristics by segmenting the time series into smaller windows a...
Article
Full-text available
Primates show various forms of behavioral contagion that are stronger between kin and friends. As a result, behavioral contagion is thought to promote group coordination, social cohesion, and possibly state matching. Aside from contagious yawning, little is known about the contagious effect of other behaviors. Scratching is commonly observed during...
Article
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Our research team was asked to consider the relationship of the neuroscience of sensorimotor control to the language of emotions and feelings. Actions are the principal means for the communication of emotions and feelings in both humans and other animals, and the allostatic mechanisms controlling action also apply to the regulation of emotional sta...
Article
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Domestic dogs (Canis familiaris) are skilled at reading and correctly responding to human communicative gestures to locate hidden food. Whether they, like chimpanzees, will understand requests for help in retrieving a fallen object, is not known. The aim of this study was to examine whether dogs show spontaneous helping behaviour towards a human ex...
Article
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Humans and great apes are highly social species, and encounter conspecifics throughout their daily lives. During social interactions, they exchange information about their emotional states via expressions through different modalities including the face, body and voice. In this regard, their capacity to express emotions, intentionally or unintention...
Article
Full-text available
Cooperation forms the basis of our society and becomes increasingly essential during times of globalization. However, despite technological developments people still prefer to meet face-to-face, which has been shown to foster cooperation. However, what is still unclear is how this beneficial effect depends on what people know about their interactio...
Preprint
Full-text available
Cooperation is pivotal for society to flourish and prosper. To ease cooperation, humans express and read emotions and intentions via explicit signals or subtle reflections of arousal visible in the face. Evidence is accumulating that humans synchronize these nonverbal expressions, as well as the physiological mechanisms underlying them, potentially...
Preprint
Full-text available
Humans are social animals whose mental wellbeing is shaped by the ability to attract and connect with each other. In a dating world, in which success can be determined by brief interactions, apart from physical features, there is a whole choreography of movements, physical reactions and subtle expressions that drive humans’ sexual attraction. To de...
Article
Full-text available
Rapidly and effectively detecting emotions in others is an important social skill. Since emotions expressed by the face are relatively easy to fake or hide, we often use body language to gauge the genuine emotional state of others. Recent studies suggest that expression-related visual mismatch negativity (vMMN) reflects the automatic processing of...
Article
During social interactions, people look into each other’s eyes to grasp emotional signals. Accordingly, prior research has shown that the eyes reveal social messages that influence interpersonal communication. Here, we tested whether variations in a subtle eye signal – pupil size – influence people’s conforming behavior. Participants performed an e...
Article
Full-text available
Humans attend to others' facial expressions and body language to better understand their emotions and predict goals and intentions. The eyes and its pupils reveal important social information. Because pupil size is beyond voluntary control yet reflective of a range of cognitive and affective processes, pupils in principal have the potential to conv...
Article
The eyes reveal important social messages, such as emotions and whether a person is aroused and interested or bored and fatigued. A growing body of research has also shown that individuals with large pupils are generally evaluated positively by observers, while those with small pupils are perceived negatively. Here, we examined whether observed pup...
Article
Full-text available
Sensitive responding to eye cues plays a key role during human social interactions. Observed changes in pupillary size provide a range of socially-relevant information including cues regarding a person’s emotional and arousal states. Recently, infants have been found to mimic observed pupillary changes in others, instantiating a foundational mechan...
Article
The eyes are extremely important in communication and can send a multitude of different messages. Someone's pupil size carries significant social information and can reflect different cognitive and affective states that within a social interaction can prove to be particularly meaningful. In 3 studies we investigated the impact of a person's pupil s...
Article
Both patients with schizophrenia and with a major depressive disorder (MDD) display deficits in identifying facial expressions of emotion during acute phases of their illness. However, specific deficit patterns have not yet been reliably demonstrated. Tasks that employ emotionally ambiguous stimuli have recently shown distinct deficit patterns in p...
Article
The human eye can provide powerful insights into the emotions and intentions of others; however, how pupillary changes influence observers’ behavior remains largely unknown. The present fMRI–pupillometry study revealed that when the pupils of interacting partners synchronously dilate, trust is promoted, which suggests that pupil mimicry affiliates...
Article
Full-text available
Pupillometry has been one of the most widely used response systems in psychophysiology. Changes in pupil size can reflect diverse cognitive and emotional states, ranging from arousal, interest and effort to social decisions, but they are also widely used in clinical practice to assess patients' brain functioning. As a result, research involving pup...
Article
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Previous meta-analyses and reviews on gender differences in emotion recognition have shown a small to moderate female advantage. However, inconsistent evidence from recent studies has raised questions regarding the implications of different methodologies, stimuli, and samples. In the present research based on a community sample of more than 5000 pa...
Article
Being observed by others fosters honest behavior. In this study, we examine a very subtle eye signal that may affect participants' tendency to behave honestly: observed pupil size. For this, we use an experimental task that is known to evoke dishonest behavior. Specifically, participants made private predictions for a coin toss and earned a bonus b...
Article
Background Previous research has shown that context (e.g. culture) can have an impact on speed and accuracy when identifying facial expressions of emotion. Patients with a major depressive disorder (MDD) are known to have deficits in the identification of facial expressions, tending to give rather stereotypical judgments. While healthy individuals...
Article
Full-text available
Humans are considered to be highly prosocial, especially in comparison to other species. However, most tests of prosociality are conducted in highly artificial settings among anonymous participants. To gain a better understanding of how human hyper-cooperation may have evolved, we tested humans’ willingness to share in one of the most competitive f...
Article
Full-text available
The eyes are extremely important for communication. The muscles around the eyes express emotional states and the size of the pupil signals whether a person is aroused and alert or bored and fatigued. Pupil size is an overlooked social signal, yet is readily picked up by observers. Observers mirror their own pupil sizes in response, which can influe...
Article
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Recognising emotions from faces that are partly covered is more difficult than from fully visible faces. The focus of the present study is on the role of an Islamic versus non-Islamic context, i.e. Islamic versus non-Islamic headdress in perceiving emotions. We report an experiment that investigates whether briefly presented (40 ms) facial expressi...
Article
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During social interactions, people tend to automatically align with or mimic their interactor's facial expressions, vocalizations, postures, and other bodily states. Automatic mimicry might be implicated in empathy, affiliation, and empathy, and is impaired in several pathologies. Despite a growing body of literature on its phenomenology, the funct...
Article
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Across species, oxytocin, an evolutionarily ancient neuropeptide, facilitates social communication by attuning individuals to conspecifics' social signals, fostering trust and bonding. The eyes have an important signalling function; and humans use their salient and communicative eyes to intentionally and unintentionally send social signals to other...
Article
Introduction: Being able to understand other people's emotions and intentions is crucial for social interactions and well-being. Deficits in theory of mind (ToM) functioning hamper this ability and have been observed in depression and other neuropsychiatric disorders. However, results of previous research in depression have been inconclusive, poss...
Article
Full-text available
For social animals, attending to and recognizing the emotional expressions of other individuals is of crucial importance for their survival and likely has a deep evolutionary origin. Gaining insight into how emotional expressions evolved as adaptations over the course of evolution can be achieved by making direct cross-species comparisons. To that...
Article
Full-text available
For social species such as primates, the recognition of conspecifics is crucial for their survival. As demonstrated by the ‘face inversion effect’, humans are experts in recognizing faces and unlike objects, recognize their identity by processing it configurally. The human face, with its distinct features such as eye-whites, eyebrows, red lips and...
Data
Final statistical model of Experiment 1. S2 Table shows the final statistical model of Experiment 1 with human participants. Reaction times on the correct trials serve as the dependent variable. (DOCX)
Data
Descriptives of all four Experiments. S1 Table shows the means and standard deviations (SD) of all four experiments for the reaction times and error rates. (DOCX)
Data
Final statistical model of Experiment 4. S5 Table shows the final statistical model of Experiment 4 with chimpanzee participants. Reaction times on the correct trials serve as the dependent variable. (DOCX)
Data
Final statistical model of Experiment 2. S3 Table shows the final statistical model of Experiment 2 with human participants. Reaction times on the correct trials serve as the dependent variable. (DOCX)
Data
Final statistical model of Experiment 3. S4 Table shows the final statistical model of Experiment 3 with chimpanzee participants. Reaction times on the correct trials serve as the dependent variable. (DOCX)
Article
Group-living animals, humans included, produce vocalizations like screams, growls, laughs, and victory calls. Accurately decoding such emotional vocalizations serves both individual and group functioning, suggesting that (i) vocalizations from in-group members may be privileged, in terms of speed and accuracy of processing, and (ii) such processing...
Article
Full-text available
Paying attention to others’ emotions is essential to successful social interactions. Integrating social-functional approaches to emotion with theorizing on the reciprocal nature of power, we propose that attention to others’ emotions depends on concerns over one’s power position and the social signal conveyed by the emotion. Others’ anger signals a...
Article
Competitive decision-making may require controlling and calculative mind-sets. We examined this possibility in repeated predator-prey contests by up- or down-regulating the individual's right inferior frontal gyrus (rIFG), a brain region involved in impulse-inhibition and mentalizing. Following brain stimulation, subjects invested as predator or pr...
Article
Full-text available
In social animals, the fast detection of group members' emotional expressions promotes swift and adequate responses, which is crucial for the maintenance of social bonds and ultimately for group survival. The dot-probe task is a well-established paradigm in psychology, measuring emotional attention through reaction times. Humans tend to be biased t...
Article
Social cognitive skills are indispensable for successful communication with others. Substantial research has determined deficits in these abilities in patients with mental disorders. In neurobiological development and continuing into adulthood, cross-cultural differences in social cognition have been demonstrated. Moreover, symptomatic patterns in...
Article
The eye-region conveys important emotional information that we spontaneously attend to. Socially submissive individuals avoid other's gaze which is regarded as avoidance of others' emotional face expressions. But this interpretation ignores the fact that there are other sources of emotional information besides the face. Here we investigate whether...
Article
Full-text available
Efficiently responding to others' emotions, especially threatening expressions such as anger and fear, can have great survival value. Previous research has shown that humans have a bias toward threatening stimuli. Most of these studies focused on facial expressions, yet emotions are expressed by the whole body, and not just by the face. Body langua...
Article
Full-text available
During close interactions with fellow group members, humans look into one another's eyes, follow gaze, and quickly grasp emotion signals. The eye-catching morphology of human eyes, with unique eye whites, draws attention to the middle part, to the pupils, and their autonomic changes, which signal arousal, cognitive load, and interest (including soc...
Article
Full-text available
Humans are well adapted to quickly recognize and adequately respond to another’s emotions. Different theories propose that mimicry of emotional expressions (facial or otherwise) mechanistically underlies, or at least facilitates, these swift adaptive reactions. When people unconsciously mimic their interaction partner's expressions of emotion, they...
Article
Humans live in, rely on, and contribute to groups. Evolution may have biologically prepared them to quickly identify others as belonging to the in-group (versus not), to decode emotional states, and to empathize with in-group members; to learn and conform to group norms and cultural practices; to extend and reciprocate trust and cooperation; and to...
Article
Introduction Stimuli with features of an unfamiliarcultural background (out-group) might influence reaction, e.g. to emotion expressions. The Islamic headdress (niqab), as an out-group feature in Western cultures,leaves only the area around the eyes visible and thus additionally impedesidentification of facial features. Patients with psychiatric di...
Article
Full-text available
Group-living typically provides benefits to individual group members but also confers costs. To avoid incredulity and betrayal and allow trust and cooperation, individuals must understand the intentions and emotions of their group members. Humans attend to other's eyes and from gaze and pupil-size cues, infer information about the state of mind of...
Article
Full-text available
We receive emotional signals from different sources, including the face, the whole body, and the natural scene. Previous research has shown the importance of context provided by the whole body and the scene on the recognition of facial expressions. This study measured physiological responses to face-body-scene combinations. Participants freely view...
Article
Full-text available
Previous reports have suggested an enhancement of facial expression recognition in women as compared to men. It has also been suggested that men versus women have a greater attentional bias towards angry cues. Research has shown that facial expression recognition impairments and attentional biases towards anger are enhanced in violent criminal male...
Article
Full-text available
Traditional emotion theories stress the importance of the face in the expression of emotions but bodily expressions are becoming increasingly important as well. In these experiments we tested the hypothesis that similar physiological responses can be evoked by observing emotional face and body signals and that the reaction to angry signals is ampli...
Article
Full-text available
Traditional emotion theories stress the importance of the face in the expression of emotions but bodily expressions are becoming increasingly important as well. In these experiments we tested the hypothesis that similar physiological responses can be evoked by observing emotional face and body signals and that the reaction to angry signals is ampli...
Article
Full-text available
In humans, the hypothalamic neuropeptide oxytocin shifts the individual's focus on self-interest toward group-serving cognitions and decision-making. Here we examine this general tendency in the context of group formation, where individuals included into their group (or not) 18 targets morphed as having low or high-threat potential (with high-threa...
Article
Full-text available
Previous research has shown a negative bias in the perception of whole facial expressions from out-group members. Whether or not emotion recognition from the eyes is already sensitive to contextual information is presently a matter of debate. In three experiments we tested whether emotions can be recognized when just the eyes are visible and whethe...
Article
Interest in sex-related differences in psychological functioning has again come to the foreground with new findings about their possible functional basis in the brain. Sex differences may be one way how evolution has capitalized on the capacity of homologous brain regions to process social information between men and women differently. This paper f...
Article
Personality is associated with specific emotion regulation styles presumably linked with unique brain activity patterns. By using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in 26 individuals, the neural responses to threatening (fearful and angry) facial and bodily expressions were investigated in relation to negative affectivity and social inhib...
Article
Full-text available
Gender differences are an important factor regulating our daily interactions. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging we show that brain areas involved in processing social signals are activated differently by threatening signals send from male and female facial and bodily expressions and that their activation patterns are different for male an...
Article
Neuroscientific research on the perception of emotional signals has mainly focused on how the brain processes threat signals from photographs of facial expressions. Much less is known about body postures or about the processing of dynamic images. We undertook a systematic comparison of the neurofunctional network dedicated to processing facial and...
Chapter
Full-text available
Our emotional states and action tendencies are expressed and communicated with the whole body, the face included. How others behave has a direct influence on us regardless of whether we are aware of it or not. The neurofunctional basis of perceiving facial expressions is reasonably well understood. Research on bodily expression perception is emergi...