Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New research reveals more about how the brain processes facial expressions and emotions

16.10.2012
Brain feedback from facial mimicry used to interpret ambiguous smiles, shape relationships of power and status

Research released today helps reveal how human and primate brains process and interpret facial expressions, and the role of facial mimicry in everything from deciphering an unclear smile to establishing relationships of power and status.

The findings were presented at Neuroscience 2012, the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience and the world’s largest source of emerging news about brain science and health.

Facial mimicry — a social behavior in which the observer automatically activates the same facial muscles as the person she is imitating — plays a role in learning, understanding, and rapport. Mimicry can activate muscles that control both smiles and frowns, and evoke their corresponding emotions, positive and negative. The studies reveal new roles of facial mimicry and some of its underlying brain circuitry.

Today’s new findings show that:
Special brains cells dubbed “eye cells” activate in the amygdala of a monkey looking into the eyes of another monkey, even as the monkey mimics the expressions of its counterpart (Katalin Gothard, MD, PhD, abstract 402.02, see attached summary).

Social status and self-perceptions of power affect facial mimicry, such that powerful individuals suppress their smile mimicry towards other high-status people, while powerless individuals mimic everyone’s smile (Evan Carr, BS, abstract 402.11, see attached summary).

Brain imaging studies in monkeys have revealed the specific roles of different regions of the brain in understanding facial identity and emotional expression, including one brain region previously identified for its role in vocal processing (Shih-pi Ku, PhD, abstract 263.22, see attached summary).

Subconscious facial mimicry plays a strong role in interpreting the meaning of ambiguous smiles (Sebastian Korb, PhD, abstract 402.23, see attached summary).

Another recent finding discussed shows that:


Early difficulties in interactions between parents and infants with cleft lip appear to have a neurological basis, as change in a baby’s facial structure can disrupt the way adult brains react to a child (Christine Parsons, PhD, see attached speaker’s summary).

“Today’s findings highlight the role of facial expressions in communication and social behavior,” said press conference moderator Ruben Gur, PhD, of the University of Pennsylvania, an expert on behavior and brain function. “Brain circuits that interpret the face appear ever more specialized, from primate ‘eye cells,’ to brain feedback that enables us to discern meaning through facial mimicry.” This research was supported by national funding agencies, such as the National Institutes of Health, as well as private and philanthropic organizations. Click here to view the full press release.

Kat Snodgrass | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.sfn.org

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Flow of cerebrospinal fluid regulates neural stem cell division
22.05.2018 | Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt

nachricht Chemists at FAU successfully demonstrate imine hydrogenation with inexpensive main group metal
22.05.2018 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

Im Focus: Entangled atoms shine in unison

A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.

The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...

Im Focus: Computer-Designed Customized Regenerative Heart Valves

Cardiovascular tissue engineering aims to treat heart disease with prostheses that grow and regenerate. Now, researchers from the University of Zurich, the Technical University Eindhoven and the Charité Berlin have successfully implanted regenerative heart valves, designed with the aid of computer simulations, into sheep for the first time.

Producing living tissue or organs based on human cells is one of the main research fields in regenerative medicine. Tissue engineering, which involves growing...

Im Focus: Light-induced superconductivity under high pressure

A team of scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg investigated optically-induced superconductivity in the alkali-doped fulleride K3C60under high external pressures. This study allowed, on one hand, to uniquely assess the nature of the transient state as a superconducting phase. In addition, it unveiled the possibility to induce superconductivity in K3C60 at temperatures far above the -170 degrees Celsius hypothesized previously, and rather all the way to room temperature. The paper by Cantaluppi et al has been published in Nature Physics.

Unlike ordinary metals, superconductors have the unique capability of transporting electrical currents without any loss. Nowadays, their technological...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Supersonic waves may help electronics beat the heat

18.05.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Keeping a Close Eye on Ice Loss

18.05.2018 | Information Technology

CrowdWater: An App for Flood Research

18.05.2018 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>