Biased Facial-Emotion Perception in Mental Health Disorders: A Possible Target for Psychological Intervention?
Our perception of emotion in the faces of others affects our own behavior and mood. Indeed, individuals with mood disorders such as depression and aggression often show biases in facial-emotion perception. I'll review recent and ongoing research from my own lab and others suggesting that biased emotional perception may be on the causal pathway of the onset and maintenance of mood disorders, and hence a potential target for intervention. Simple cognitive-bias modification tasks that change participants’ perception of facial expressions of emotion have shown some promise as a therapeutic technique. I'll outline further directions for continued research investigating the robustness and clinical impact of emotion-bias modification in real-world settings.