The Neuropsychology of Nonverbal Communication: The Facial Expressions of Emotions

  • Michela Balconi


The facial expressions of emotion probably do not exclusively serve an emotional purpose, but instead can be related to different functions. In fact, a broad domain of information can be conveyed through facial displays. In our interactions with others, facial expressions enable us to communicate effectively, and they work in conjunction with spoken words as well as other, nonverbal acts. Among the expressive elements that contribute to the communication of emotion, facial expressions are considered as communicative signals [1]. In fact, facial expressions are central features of the social behavior of most nonhuman primates and they are powerful stimuli in human communication. Moreover, faces are crucial channels of social cognition, because of their high interpersonal value, and they permit the intentions of others to be deciphered. Thus, facial recognition may indirectly reflect the encoding and storage of social acts.


Autism Spectrum Disorder Facial Expression Facial Recognition Emotional Expression Facial Processing 
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© Springer-Verlag Italia 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michela Balconi
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyCatholic University of MilanMilanItaly

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