The research, which also suggested that some people have "smilier" voices than others, adds to the growing body of evidence that smiling and other expressions pack a strong informational punch and may even impact us on a subliminal level.
"When we listen to people speaking we may be picking up on all sorts of cues, even unconsciously, which help us to interpret the speaker," said lead author of the report, Amy Drahota.
Drahota, a research fellow in the School of Health Sciences and Social Work at the University of Portsmouth, recorded interviews with volunteers that required them to respond, "I do in the summer," no matter the question.
Examples of questions included, "Do you ever sunbathe?" and, "Do you go skinny dipping?"
"The interview was deliberately built up to begin serious and then become gradually more amusing and strange, and potentially slightly embarrassing," Drahota explained.
"All the while the speakers were 'admitting' what they do in the summer, even if it wasn't true, which made the interview very bizarre to the speakers which would have made them smile."
Drahota described the first as an open smile "in which the lips are drawn back, the cheeks are raised and crows-feet wrinkles appear around the eyes." Technically this is called a Duchenne smile, which may be the truest and most intense of all.
The second smile type is like the Duchenne, only minus the "smiley eyes." The third is a suppressed smile, "where the speaker is trying to hide their smile by pulling their lips in or down as they speak." Finally, they denoted times when the speakers weren't smiling at all.
The audio for the interviews was then played back to another group of test subjects. Even without seeing the speakers, the listeners were able to hear the different types of smile the speaker made as he or she went through the wacky interview.
“A voice contains a variety of acoustical characteristics” said Drahota. “It’s possible that we interpret these ‘flavours’ in someone’s voice almost without noticing.”
The research may be useful for further work on computer generated speech programmes, computer games, automated telephone systems, and embodied conversational agents which are used commercially- for example as information providers in information kiosks, Drahota suggests.
Drahota is the co-author or a report with colleagues Alan Costall and Vasudevi Reddy which will be published in the journal, Speech Communication.
Lisa Egan | alfa
Atomic Design by Water
23.02.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung GmbH
22.02.2018 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau
Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...
For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.
In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...
Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale
Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...
For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.
But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...
Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.
The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...
15.02.2018 | Event News
13.02.2018 | Event News
12.02.2018 | Event News
22.02.2018 | Life Sciences
22.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
22.02.2018 | Earth Sciences