Whether its the look of love, happiness, or the look of fear, humans use facial expressions to communicate important information to one another. But which parts of the brain read these cues, and how do they do it? A paper in this weeks Nature by a group of international scientists, including Professor Philippe Schyns from the University of Glasgow, offers new insights into how we recognize fear in peoples eyes.
The study focuses on a case study of a 38-year-old woman with rare bilateral damage to her amygdala - an almond-shape part of the brain in the temporal lobe. Unusually, she is completely unable to recognize fear from facial expressions - this deficit though can be rescued by instructing her to concentrate her attention on the persons eyes. The researchers found, however, that the woman (named SM in the study) only succeeded in directing her gaze to the eye regions of facial images when given explicit reminders.
SM’s problem is that although she can physically see facial features, she can’t recognise the emotion of fear. SMs impairment stems from an inability to make normal use of information from the eye region within faces when judging emotions, although she can read emotions from the mouth. Her selective impairment in recognizing fear is explained by the fact that that the eyes are the most important feature for identifying fear. However, the subject’s recognition of fearful faces became entirely normal when she was instructed to look at the eyes.
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Dead and alive at the same time? Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics have implemented Erwin Schrödinger’s paradoxical gedanken experiment employing an entangled atom-light state.
In 1935 Erwin Schrödinger formulated a thought experiment designed to capture the paradoxical nature of quantum physics. The crucial element of this gedanken...
Cellulose obtained from wood has amazing material properties. Empa researchers are now equipping the biodegradable material with additional functionalities to produce implants for cartilage diseases using 3D printing.
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The phenomenon of so-called superlubricity is known, but so far the explanation at the atomic level has been missing: for example, how does extremely low friction occur in bearings? Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institutes IWM and IWS jointly deciphered a universal mechanism of superlubricity for certain diamond-like carbon layers in combination with organic lubricants. Based on this knowledge, it is now possible to formulate design rules for supra lubricating layer-lubricant combinations. The results are presented in an article in Nature Communications, volume 10.
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Just in time for Christmas, a Mars-analogue mission in Morocco, coordinated by the Robotics Innovation Center of the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) as part of the SRC project FACILITATORS, has been successfully completed. SRC, the Strategic Research Cluster on Space Robotics Technologies, is a program of the European Union to support research and development in space technologies. From mid-November to mid-December 2018, a team of more than 30 scientists from 11 countries tested technologies for future exploration of Mars and Moon in the desert of the Maghreb state.
Close to the border with Algeria, the Erfoud region in Morocco – known to tourists for its impressive sand dunes – offered ideal conditions for the four-week...
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