Editorial: Dynamic Emotional Communication

Wataru Sato*, Eva G Krumhuber, Tjeerd Jellema, Justin H G Williams

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
3 Downloads (Pure)


Psychological research has a long history of investigating facial and bodily expressions associated with emotion. This is partly due to the fact that non-verbal behaviors are indispensable communicative signals during the creation and maintenance of social relationships. A number of neuroscientific studies have also investigated the neural mechanisms underlying the processing of these emotional signals.
However, most previous research assessing emotional communication has been conducted using static stimuli. Although researchers have accumulated valuable information about the psychological and neural mechanisms underlying the processing of emotional signals using such stimuli, their static nature may have left important phenomena unexamined.
To address this issue, recent studies have explored emotional communication using dynamic facial and bodily expressions of emotion, which has had important consequences for emotion research. Because dynamic emotional expressions are associated with increased ecological validity, resulting in a number of important differences in the psychological/neural processing between dynamic and static information, a host of novel aspects of emotional communication have been elucidated. Furthermore, the dynamic perspective can be applied to broader methodological and conceptual areas.
The present Research Topic brings together a collection of new articles that have investigated dynamic emotional communication and demonstrates recent advances in this field of research. Here, we introduce these articles and discuss them in the context of related studies by grouping them into the following four areas: (a) decoding of dynamic emotional signals, (b) moderators of dynamic emotional signal decoding, (c) encoding of dynamic emotional signals, and (d) other dynamic aspects of emotional communication. The term “decoding” was used to refer to various types of processing (e.g., perceptual and motor) in addition to the recognition of emotions. The term “encoding” was used to refer to the production of emotional signals.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2836
Number of pages5
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 17 Dec 2019


  • action observation network
  • body action
  • dyadic interaction,
  • dynamic facial expression
  • emotion recognition


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