There is evidence that some emotional expressions are characterized by diagnostic cues from individual face features. For example, an upturned mouth is indicative of happiness, whereas a furrowed brow is associated with anger. The current investigation explored whether motivating people to perceive stimuli in a local (i.e., feature-based) rather than global (i.e., holistic) processing orientation was advantageous for recognizing emotional facial expressions. Participants classified emotional faces while primed with local and global processing orientations, via a Navon letter task. Contrary to previous findings for identity recognition, the current findings are indicative of a modest advantage for face emotion recognition under conditions of local processing orientation. When primed with a local processing orientation, participants performed both significantly faster and more accurately on an emotion recognition task than when they were primed with a global processing orientation. The impacts of this finding for theories of emotion recognition and face processing are considered. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved).