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.
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:
“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!
Studying mitosis' structure to understand the inside of cancer cells
19.02.2018 | Biophysical Society
Calcium may play a role in the development of Parkinson's disease
19.02.2018 | University of Cambridge
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...
Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters
Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...
15.02.2018 | Event News
13.02.2018 | Event News
12.02.2018 | Event News
19.02.2018 | Information Technology
19.02.2018 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation
19.02.2018 | Life Sciences