Perception of “Live” Facial Expressions



The article provides a review of experimental studies of interpersonal perception on the material of static and dynamic facial expressions as a unique source of information about the person’s inner world. The focus is on the patterns of perception of a moving face, included in the processes of communication and joint activities (an alternative to the most commonly studied perception of static images of a person outside of a behavioral context). The review includes four interrelated topics: face statics and dynamics in the recognition of emotional expressions; specificity of perception of moving face expressions; multimodal integration of emotional cues; generation and perception of facial expressions in communication processes. The analysis identifies the most promising areas of research of face in motion. We show that the static and dynamic modes of facial perception complement each other, and describe the role of qualitative features of the facial expression dynamics in assessing the emotional state of a person. Facial expression is considered as part of a holistic multimodal manifestation of emotions. The importance of facial movements as an instrument of social interaction is emphasized.

General Information

Keywords: interpersonal perception, facial expressions, “living” face, face statics and dynamics, perceptual genesis of facial expressions, oculomotor activity, eye contact, perception of transient expressions, multimodal integration of emotional manifestations, emotional mimicry, facial expressions in communication processes.

Journal rubric: Psychology of Perception

Article type: scientific article


For citation: Barabanschikov V.A., Korolkova O.A. Perception of “Live” Facial Expressions. Eksperimental'naâ psihologiâ = Experimental Psychology (Russia), 2020. Vol. 13, no. 3, pp. 55–73. DOI: 10.17759/exppsy.2020130305. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Vladimir A. Barabanschikov, Doctor of Psychology, Professor, Director, Institute of Experimental Psychology, Moscow State University of Psychology and Education, Dean of the Faculty of Psychology, Moscow Institute of Psychoanalysis, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Olga A. Korolkova, PhD in Psychology, professor, Leading Research Associate, Institute of Experimental Psychology, Moscow State University of Psychology & Education, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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