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Your Face and Your Brain

Posted Oct 23 2008 9:02pm

I just discovered a new blog about the brain called Sharp Brains. This post on human faces intrigues me. Since the face is the window into how someone is feeling and thinking, it is worthy of study. Here's an excerpt:

Faces Paul Ekman has conducted extensive research on identifying emotions through facial expressions. As part of that research, and as part of the power of discipline and training, he learned how to consciously manipulate 42 facial muscles, including many that in most of us are beyond our control, and even awareness.

Based on primary and secondary research, he found that there are seven emotions expressed in the face in universally consistent ways:

  1. Sadness
  2. Anger
  3. Surprise
  4. Fear
  5. Enjoyment
  6. Disgust
  7. Contempt

Even more interesting: according to his research, feelings and facial expressions influence each other. This is, not only a sad person will naturally look sad, but a person who intentionally smiles will feel more content than a person who doesn’t.

Coincidently, I just got the 2-part series called Faces on DVD from Netflix to watch. Part documentary, it is narrated by John Cleese, one of the funniest men in Britain. I'll let you know what I learn from that.

How good are you at picking up clues from a person's face?

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