Thermal imaging in affective neuroscience: advancements in social psychophysiology.
Peripheral physiology monitoring can provide insights to self-regulation in an affective social context. Part of peripheral physiology is also in thermal regulations mediated by internal physiological states such as heart rate, perspiration as well as vascular constriction or vasodilation and in certain occasions muscular activity. Variability in autonomic function within a social context is readily depicted on the face and according to the emotion there is an adjacent thermal mark. Modern technological advancement allows us to harness these signal enriching our understanding about human nature in a naturalistic experimental context. Thermal imaging provides a novel avenue for the study of social psychophysiology as the face, in addition to its communicative value, provides easy access to contact-free affective physiological monitoring. This novel technique represents a very advantageous opportunity for the developmental field as a whole, since children and adults can be left free to exhibit their spontaneous behavior when adjusting to the experimental setting. The present talk focuses on this new approach applied to the study of affective social neuroscience.