image: Psychology Logo
image: Psychology Logo
image: UW - Madison Logo
image: Psychology Logo

image: Maryellen C. MacDonald

Paula M. Niedenthal
Ph.D. 1987, University of Michigan

Phone: (608)890-4379
Office: Psychology 319

Research Interests:
Because it focuses on the ways by which individuals represent and process emotional information, my research is best described as crossing the areas of the Social Psychology of Emotion and the Affective Neurosciences. Of current interest in my laboratory are the twin problems of the function of and the processing of facial expression of emotion. To address these problems scientifically, our research examines neural, cognitive, social and cultural/societal influences on two important information processing mechanisms, namely facial mimicry and eye gaze. Most recently our particular focus is on the human smile. You can read about the model that guides some of this work in a New York Times article by Carl Zimmer, here (


Niedenthal, P.M., Augustinova, M., Rychlowska, M., Droit-Volet, S., Zinner, L., & Brauer, M. (2012).  Negative relations between pacifier use and emotional competence. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, in press.

Maringer, M. Krumhuber, E., Fischer, A., & Niedenthal, P.M. (2011). Beyond smile dynamics: Mimicry and beliefs in judgments of smiles. Emotion, 11, 181-187.

Niedenthal, P.M., & Brauer, M. (2011). Social functionality of human emotions.  In  S.T. Fiske (Ed.), Annual Review of Psychology, Vol, 62, 259-285.

Ishii, K., Miyamoto, Y., Niedenthal, P.M., & Mayama, K. (2011). When your smile fades away: Cultural differences in sensitivity to the disappearance of smiles. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 2, 516-522.

Niedenthal, P.M., Mermillod, M., Maringer, M. & Hess, U. (2010).  The Simulation of Smiles (SIMS) model: Embodied simulation and the meaning of facial expression.  Target article for Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 33, 417–480.

Niedenthal, P.M., Winkielman, P., Mondillon, L., & Vermeulen, N. (2009). Embodied emotion concepts. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 96, 1120-136.

Halberstadt, J., Winkielman, P., Niedenthal, P. M., & Dalle, N. (2009). Emotional conception: How embodied emotion concepts guide perception and facial action. Psychological Science, 20, 1254-1261.

BE PART OF THE          
1202 WEST JOHNSON ST, MADISON, WI 53706-1969 OFFICE: (608) 262.1040 or (608) 262.1041 FAX: (608) 262.4029