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 Gut microbiome regulates the intestinal immune system, researchers find
19.12.2018 | Brown University

nachricht Greener days ahead for carbon fuels
19.12.2018 | DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: New megalibrary approach proves useful for the rapid discovery of new materials

Northwestern discovery tool is thousands of times faster than conventional screening methods

Different eras of civilization are defined by the discovery of new materials, as new materials drive new capabilities. And yet, identifying the best material...

Im Focus: Data storage using individual molecules

Researchers from the University of Basel have reported a new method that allows the physical state of just a few atoms or molecules within a network to be controlled. It is based on the spontaneous self-organization of molecules into extensive networks with pores about one nanometer in size. In the journal ‘small’, the physicists reported on their investigations, which could be of particular importance for the development of new storage devices.

Around the world, researchers are attempting to shrink data storage devices to achieve as large a storage capacity in as small a space as possible. In almost...

Im Focus: Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

The more objects we make "smart," from watches to entire buildings, the greater the need for these devices to store and retrieve massive amounts of data quickly without consuming too much power.

Millions of new memory cells could be part of a computer chip and provide that speed and energy savings, thanks to the discovery of a previously unobserved...

Im Focus: An energy-efficient way to stay warm: Sew high-tech heating patches to your clothes

Personal patches could reduce energy waste in buildings, Rutgers-led study says

What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...

Im Focus: Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells

A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.

The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

New megalibrary approach proves useful for the rapid discovery of new materials

19.12.2018 | Materials Sciences

Artificial intelligence meets materials science

19.12.2018 | Materials Sciences

Gut microbiome regulates the intestinal immune system, researchers find

19.12.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>