Psychology & Psychiatry

Downward head tilt can make people seem more dominant

We often look to people's faces for signs of how they're thinking or feeling, trying to gauge whether their eyes are narrowed or widened, whether the mouth is turned up or down. But findings published in the June 2019 issue ...

Neuroscience

Mona Lisa's smile not genuine, researchers believe

New research has found that the Mona Lisa's famed smile is almost certainly 'forced'—raising the intriguing possibility that Leonardo deliberately portrayed her that way.

Autism spectrum disorders

Tool helps kids with autism improve socialization skills

A team of NIH-funded researchers at Stanford University Medical School has found that children with autism improved measurably on a test of socialization and learning when their therapy included an at-home intervention with ...

Neuroscience

A sleep-deprived brain interprets impressions negatively

A sleepless night not only leaves us fatigued and distracted, it also makes us interpret things more negatively and makes us more likely to lose our temper. Moreover, people suffering from a pollen allergy are at a high risk ...

Autism spectrum disorders

Digital intervention ups socialization in children with autism

(HealthDay)—An artificial intelligence-driven wearable behavioral intervention, Superpower Glass, can improve social outcomes for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), according to a study published online March ...

Psychology & Psychiatry

Face it. Our faces don't always reveal our true emotions

Actor James Franco looks sort of happy as he records a video diary in the movie "127 Hours." It's not until the camera zooms out, revealing his arm is crushed under a boulder, that it becomes clear his goofy smile belies ...

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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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