Department of Psychiatry

Penn Behavioral Health

2D Facial Emotional Stimuli

On behalf of the University of Pennsylvania's Brain Behavior Laboratory, thank you for expressing interest in our facial emotional stimuli (Gur et al, 2001). As always, our lab is pleased to disseminate stimuli and procedures used in our research projects; sharing this type of information is a basic part of furthering scientific knowledge. Our goal in this endeavor is to facilitate research and further clarify the understanding of cognitive processing. Please note that stimuli and procedures are copyrighted and are for research purposes only, not clinical or commercial uses.

Before providing access to our emotional stimuli, we ask that you complete the form on the next page providing information about your research project. In addition, we ask that you provide assurance that:

  • You are a qualified investigator, or working with a qualified investigator, at a recognized research institution;
  • Your studies will be conducted with approval of an Institutional Review Board, or similar regulatory body, and with oversight for protection of human participants. You will be asked to affirm this when completing the request form;
  • Any publications generated from studies using these stimuli reference their origin. Specific citation information is provided below and should be consulted as you prepare your manuscript or presentation. Once published, we would appreciate receiving reprints of any publications using the stimuli and/or procedures.

All requests will be reviewed by our research team. Please note that the review process will take approximately 2 weeks. We will contact you when the review is complete. Occasionally, requests are made to test hypotheses that are currently under investigation within our lab, or otherwise appear to overlap with ongoing work. In such cases, we may contact you to discuss opportunities for collaboration on areas of mutual interest.

  • Upon approval of your request, we will provide:
  • Account access to download our stimuli
  • Administrator and investigator documentation

Except in established collaborations, we cannot provide any additional support. Specifically, we will not assume responsibility for:

  • Analysis of data produced by our tasks;
  • Integrity of individual studies conducted with our materials but outside of our laboratory;
  • Training of those utilizing our stimuli;
  • Interpretation of results;
  • Supplying customized normative data.

Again, thank you for expressing interest in our 2D facial emotional stimuli. If these conditions are acceptable, please click on the button below that says "I Agree", and fill out the following form. We can then proceed with our review process. Should you have further questions or requests, please contact us via email.

Best regards,
Ruben C. Gur, Ph.D.

Example Stimuli and Citations

Black and white face memory stimuli:


Gur RC, Ragland JD, Moberg PJ, Turner TH, Bilker WB, Kohler C, Siegel SJ, Gur RE. Computerized neurocognitive scanning: I. Methodology and validation in healthy people. Neuropsychopharmacology 2001; 25(5):766-776.

Black and white emotional face stimuli (happy, sad, and neutral expressions):


Erwin RJ, Gur RC, Gur RE, Skolnick B, Mawhinney-Hee M, Smailis J. Facial emotion discrimination 1: Task construction and behavioral findings in normal subjects. Psychiatry Research 1992; 42:231-240.

ER 40 Color emotional stimuli (happy, sad, anger, fear, no emotion; mild and extreme intensities):


Gur RC, Sara R, Hagendoorn M, Marom O, Hughett P, Macy L, Turner T, Bajcsy R, Posner A, Gur RE. A method for obtaining 3-dimensional facial expressions and its standardization for use in neurocognitive studies. Journal of Neuroscience Methods2002; 115:137-143.

Pinkham AE, Sasson NJ, Calkins ME, Richard J, Hughett P, Gur RE, Gur RC. The other-race effect in face processing among African American and Caucasian individuals with schizophrenia. American Journal of Psychiatry 2008; 165:639-645.

PERT-96 Color emotional stimuli (happy, sad, anger, fear, disgust, no emotion; mild and extreme intensities):


Gur RC, Sara R, Hagendoorn M, Marom O, Hughett P, Macy L, Turner T, Bajcsy R, Posner A, Gur RE. A method for obtaining 3-dimensional facial expressions and its standardization for use in neurocognitive studies.  Journal of Neuroscience Methods 2002; 115:137-143.

Kohler CG, Turner TH, Bilker WB, Brensinger CM, Siegel SJ, Kanes SJ, Gur RE, Gur RC. Facial emotion recognition in schizophrenia: intensity effects and error pattern. Amercian Journal of Psychiatry 2003; 160: 1768-1774.

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