facial expressions

14 Stories

Regardless of Language, We All Understand This Face

The 'not face' is universal sign of disapproval: scientists

(Newser) - You've seen it when someone disagrees with you: a furrowed brow, tight lips, and raised chin. It's a face that means, basically, no—and it's actually universal. The same team of researchers that identified these 21 facial expressions say the "not face" is used so instinctively... More »

Smiles Really Are Contagious

...and so are frowns

(Newser) - Smiles—and frowns—are so contagious that they can jump from person to person in a fraction of a second, according to researchers studying the human brain's amazing ability to read expressions. In a paper published in the journal Trends in Cognitive Sciences , researchers say that when we see... More »

Horses and Humans Share Lots of Looks

Researchers have observed 17 distinct facial expressions in horses

(Newser) - Scientists at the University of Sussex have taken a long, hard long at our equine pals and determined that horses have 17 distinct looks of their own. Some 15 hours of observing natural behavior in 86 horses, ranging in age from four weeks to 27 years and spanning several breeds,... More »

Angry? Your Dog Can Tell

Dogs may be first non-human species proven able to read facial expressions

(Newser) - Dogs get jealous just like humans and, apparently, they read facial expressions like we do, too. For the first time, researchers have found evidence that dogs can gauge our emotions based solely on facial expressions—a major find, as no previous study has "convincingly shown" that non-human species have... More »

Study: Humans Have 21 Facial Expressions

Some of them are weird, like 'happily disgusted'

(Newser) - A new study finds that humans have many facial expressions—21, to be exact—that can convey distinct emotions such as "happily surprised," "fearfully angry," "angrily surprised," and even "happily disgusted." To observe emotions, the authors told 230 college students a series... More »

You Have Only 4 Emotions

Subtler distinctions more social than biological

(Newser) - Scientists have traditionally held that people have six basic emotions: happy, sad, angry, surprised, afraid, and disgusted. But a new study reduces that number to just four by combining "angry" with "disgusted" and "surprised" with "afraid." Those pairings share the same biological roots, the Glasgow... More »

So You Think Knox Had a Guilty Face?

People can't read expressions after all: Ian Leslie

(Newser) - We've all wondered about those photos of Amanda Knox smirking and glancing mischievously in court—and we were all dead wrong to do so, writes Ian Leslie in the Guardian . Study after study have shown that people believe they can read each other's facial expressions while revealing little... More »

Botox Dulls Emotions

Limited facial expressions may stifle feelings

(Newser) - Some Botox patients have trouble looking happy or sad, and now research suggests they have trouble feeling happy or sad as a result. Facial expressions themselves are thought to produce sensory feedback that influences emotional states, so a group of Barnard researchers tested whether Botox users—who have literally paralyzed... More »

Botox Numbs Emotional Response

If you can't frown, brain finds it harder to be sad, study surmises

(Newser) - If you turn your frown upside down with Botox, your brain gets the message and makes you less receptive to negative emotional stimuli. That’s the conclusion of a new study of people who had their frown muscles paralyzed with the cosmetic toxin. Researchers tested subjects on the speed of... More »

Robot Learns to Smile

(Newser) - It's a milestone for robots: One has learned to smile and make realistic facial expressions on its own for the first time, Wired reports. University of California researchers put their Einstein robot in front of a video camera attached to facial recognition software, which gave it feedback as it randomly... More »

Staring at Disfigured Faces Is 'Instinctive'

Distorted or frozen features trigger a 'primal response' in viewers, scientists believe

(Newser) - The stares people like face transplant patient Connie Culp deal with are likely the result of instinct rather than insensitivity, Wired reports. Scientists believe that disfigured faces flummox the screening system the brain has developed to judge whether a person poses a potential threat, causing people to become transfixed when... More »

Smiling, Frowning Is Hardwired Into Genes: Study

Blind, sighted athletes adopted similar expressions in victory and defeat

(Newser) - Facial expressions from smiling to sneering are dictated by human genes that all of us share, a new study suggests. Researchers examined the facial expressions on thousands of photographs of blind and sighted athletes at the 2004 Athens Paralympic Games and the 2004 Athens Olympic Games. They discovered that no... More »

Palin's Winks Unlikely to Nudge Undecided

Controversy in the blink of an eye

(Newser) - In Latin America, it's an unmistakable come-on. In much of Asia, it's offensive. In a vice-presidential debate, the meaning of a wink is sparking plenty of controversy, writes Faye Fiore in the Los Angeles Times. Sarah Palin winks more often than any politician experts can remember, and it has "... More »

Laughter Also Good Medicine for Orangutans

Study finds empathy, mimicry in primates' grins and chuckles

(Newser) - Humans aren't the only animals who laugh, according to a new study. Orangutans engage in a primitive form of laughing, the BBC reports—when one exhibits a facial expression such as an open, gaping mouth, and a companion displays the same expression less than half a second later. This sense... More »

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