Health

Transparent face masks protect while facilitating communication

Commercially available transparent face masks allow for the perception of facial expressions while suppressing the dispersion of respiratory droplets that spread the SARS-CoV-2, and thus have a clear advantage over surgical ...

Psychology & Psychiatry

Acute sleep loss may alter the way we see others

A new study from Uppsala University shows that young adults when sleep-deprived evaluate angry faces as less trustworthy and healthy-looking. Furthermore, neutral and fearful faces appear less attractive following sleep loss. ...

Autism spectrum disorders

Autistic children struggle with hidden emotions

New research has discovered that children with autism misjudge the feelings of others because they don't use context to identify underlying emotions.

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Facial expression

A facial expression results from one or more motions or positions of the muscles of the face. These movements convey the emotional state of the individual to observers. Facial expressions are a form of nonverbal communication. They are a primary means of conveying social information among humans, but also occur in most other mammals and some other animal species.

Humans can adopt a facial expression as a voluntary action. However, because expressions are closely tied to emotion, they are more often involuntary. It can be nearly impossible to avoid expressions for certain emotions, even when it would be strongly desirable to do so; a person who is trying to avoid insult to an individual he or she finds highly unattractive might nevertheless show a brief expression of disgust before being able to reassume a neutral expression. The close link between emotion and expression can also work in the other direction; it has been observed that voluntarily assuming an expression can actually cause the associated emotion.[citation needed]

Some expressions can be accurately interpreted even between members of different species- anger and extreme contentment being the primary examples. Others, however, are difficult to interpret even in familiar individuals. For instance, disgust and fear can be tough to tell apart.[citation needed]

Because faces have only a limited range of movement, expressions rely upon fairly minuscule differences in the proportion and relative position of facial features, and reading them requires considerable sensitivity to same. Some faces are often falsely read as expressing some emotion, even when they are neutral, because their proportions naturally resemble those another face would temporarily assume when emoting.[citation needed]

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