Kinematics of emotional expression

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People can easily detect the emotion that another person is feeling by observing their body movements. What, exactly, makes a sad movement look sad? In this series of studies, we use motion capture data and kinematic analysis to characterize how emotions affect body movements in specific, recognizable ways. We also assess movement qualities using a method based on Effort-Shape analysis, and compare the qualitative assessments with the kinematics outcomes. By combining biomechanical and psychological methods, these studies provide the basis for a new understanding of the relationship between emotional experience and body movements.


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