Increased discriminability of authenticity from multimodal laughter is driven by auditory information.
2159 - 2168
Q J Exp Psychol (Hove)
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We present an investigation of the perception of authenticity in audiovisual laughter, in which we contrast spontaneous and volitional samples and examine the contributions of unimodal affective information to multimodal percepts. In a pilot study, we demonstrate that listeners perceive spontaneous laughs as more authentic than volitional ones, both in unimodal (audio-only, visual-only) and multimodal contexts (audiovisual). In the main experiment, we show that the discriminability of volitional and spontaneous laughter is enhanced for multimodal laughter. Analyses of relationships between affective ratings and the perception of authenticity show that, while both unimodal percepts significantly predict evaluations of audiovisual laughter, it is auditory affective cues that have the greater influence on multimodal percepts. We discuss differences and potential mismatches in emotion signalling through voices and faces, in the context of spontaneous and volitional behaviour, and highlight issues that should be addressed in future studies of dynamic multimodal emotion processing.