Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Often Missed Facial Displays Give Clues To True Emotion, Deceit

Date:
May 4, 2000
Source:
American Academy Of Neurology
Summary:
When listening to or looking at others, most people don’t focus on the area of the face that will display true emotions, according to a report presented during the American Academy of Neurology’s 52nd Annual Meeting in San Diego, CA. Researchers found that most people focus on the lower part of the face when dealing with others. However, if the person’s true feelings are "leaked" to the observer, they are more likely to appear on the upper face and could easily be missed.

SAN DIEGO, CA – When listening to or looking at others, most people don’t focus on the area of the face that will display true emotions, according to a report presented during the American Academy of Neurology’s 52nd Annual Meeting in San Diego, CA.

Researchers found that most people focus on the lower part of the face when dealing with others. However, if the person’s true feelings are "leaked" to the observer, they are more likely to appear on the upper face and could easily be missed. Previous studies have also shown that the lower portion of the face (nose, lips and cheeks) is more active than the upper face (eyes, brows and forehead) when individuals engage in deceitful social interactions.

"Perhaps the old adage ‘the eyes are the windows to the soul’ may be correct," said Calin Prodan, MD, a neurology resident at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in Oklahoma City and lead author of the study.

"Humans learn in early childhood to manipulate facial emotions to make them appropriate to a given social situation which, in time, allows them to engage in deceitful behavior," said Prodan. "For example, a person who is angry with their superior may display a ‘social’ smile rather than an angry scowl when asking for a raise."

To better understand the brain’s recognition and processing of facial emotion, the researchers briefly showed 30 people line drawings of a human face displaying different emotions on the upper versus lower face, including happiness, sadness, anger, fear, surprise and neutral. Participants viewed the drawings in either their right or left visual fields, which offered clues to the side of the brain processing the information and its ability to do so.

Participants most often identified the lower face emotion, regardless of visual field. When subjects were instructed to focus on the upper face, they did so best when the pictures were shown to their left visual field (processed by the right side of the brain). However, most continued to identify the lower facial emotion when viewing in their right visual field (processed by the brain’s left side).

"Recognition of emotional displays on the lower face appear to be processed by the brain’s left hemisphere as part of the social – or learned – emotional system, whereas emotional displays on the upper face appear to be processed by the brain’s right hemisphere as part of the primary – or inborn – emotional system," said Prodan. "These findings help us to gain a better understanding of the neurologic basis for affective communication, which will increase a physician’s ability to assess how diseases, such as stroke and dementia, alter these functions."

People may naturally focus on the lower face to aid in speech comprehension during conversation, especially in noisy environments. Social conventions may also play a role as many cultures consider it unacceptable to look someone directly in the eye – the "evil eye" belief. This may be interpreted as aggressive or threatening behavior, similar to those observed in some animal species.

"There is a natural learning curve starting in early childhood for acquiring the skills to read facial displays of emotion," Prodan said. "We certainly can train ourselves to pay more attention to upper facial displays, which can help us read a person’s true emotional state. However, this can have a downside because of social conventions."

The American Academy of Neurology, an association of more than 16,500 neurologists and neuroscience professionals, is dedicated to improving patient care through education and research.

For more information about the American Academy of Neurology, visit its Web site at http://www.aan.com. For online neurological health and wellness information, visit NeuroVista at http://www.aan.com/neurovista.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Academy Of Neurology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Academy Of Neurology. "Often Missed Facial Displays Give Clues To True Emotion, Deceit." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 May 2000. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/05/000503181624.htm>.
American Academy Of Neurology. (2000, May 4). Often Missed Facial Displays Give Clues To True Emotion, Deceit. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/05/000503181624.htm
American Academy Of Neurology. "Often Missed Facial Displays Give Clues To True Emotion, Deceit." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/05/000503181624.htm (accessed August 1, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Friday, August 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Dieting At A Young Age Might Lead To Harmful Health Habits

Dieting At A Young Age Might Lead To Harmful Health Habits

Newsy (July 30, 2014) Researchers say women who diet at a young age are at greater risk of developing harmful health habits, including eating disorders and alcohol abuse. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

Newsy (July 29, 2014) If you've been looking for love online, there's a chance somebody has been looking at how you're looking. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

Newsy (July 29, 2014) Researchers have found certain facial features can make us seem more attractive or trustworthy. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A new study shows sleep deprivation can make it harder for people to remember specific details of an event. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins