Seminar: About Face(s), by Prof. Arvid Kappas

About Face(s)
Prof. Arvid Kappas
Jacobs University Bremen

Place: Lecture room #2 (rm. 443), 4th floor of Engineering Blg.#10
Time: 15:00-16:00 on Monday, August 1st, 2011


There is no question that faces are fascinating for lay people and scientists alike. Given the importance of nonverbal behavior in information and communication technology, it is not surprising that increasing numbers of researchers, from different disciplines, are addressing questions regarding perception and production of facial activity. Faces convey information about stable person properties, such as identity, age, gender, or ethnicity, as well as rapidly changing communicative cues, particularly regarding someone’s emotional states. Much research has been conducted in the last century on the perception of faces and their expressions using still photography, going back to Darwin’s seminal The Expression of the Emotions (1872).
I will discuss how the use of synthetic images, particularly animations, may help address some questions regarding the perception of humans that are difficult to investigate using more natural stimuli. As regards the production of artificial realistic facial expressions, I will outline challenges that are rooted in the historical contexts of theory development on the one hand and pre-scientific influences of everyday beliefs on the other hand. Perhaps emotions are less important for facial behavior than was thought in the 20th century. Or are they?

Short Bio

Arvid Kappas is professor of psychology at Jacobs University Bremen. He has been conducting research on emotions for over 25 years. Having obtained his PhD at Dartmouth College, NH, USA, he has lived and worked in Switzerland, Canada, the UK, and in Germany. He was also visiting professor in Austria and in Italy. His research addresses how factors, such as the social context, or certain cognitive processes, influence how components of the emotion system interact, such as what people feel, what expressions they show, and how their body reacts. He is associate editor of the APA journal Emotion and of Biological Psychology and on the editorial board of several journals such as Cognition and Emotion and Journal of Nonverbal Behavior. He has been active in a number of national and international scientific associations and published numerous scientific articles and chapters. In the summer of 2011, “Face to face communication over the Internet”, edited with Nicole Krämer, will appear. His current research includes work in the context of two EU funded projects: “CYBEREMOTIONS: Collective emotions in cyberspace” and “eCUTE: Education in Cultural Understanding Technology Enhanced”.
Prof. Arvid Kappas, PhD School of Humanities and Social Sciences Jacobs University Bremen Campus Ring 1 28759 Bremen Germany
Hosted by:
Prof. Toyoaki Nishida
Department of Intelligence Science and Technology
Graduate School of Informatics
phone: 075-753-5371

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