Notes on Intercultural Communication

The Origin of Facial Expressions

with one comment

Facial Expressions Develop in the Womb

baby-faces womb

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(…) Before he or she is born, a fetus begins to move his or her face — parting lips, wrinkling a nose or lowering a brow for example — making movements that, when combined, will one day assemble expressions we all recognize in one another. A new study has shown that, as the fetus develops, these facial motions become increasingly complex. (…)

Nadja Reissland, University of Durham in the United Kingdom

Read the full article online here or download pdf here.

(retrieved 04.02.2014 at http://www.livescience.com/15939-fetus-facial-expressions.html)

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Study of Facial Expression of Blind Athletes

Matsumoto Facial Expressions Blind Sighted

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(…) By studying the expressions of the blind athletes in the Paralympic Game and in comparing them to the expressions to the athletes’ (…) regularly games, we can tell whether they have the same expressions or not.

So the study of the blind athletes in the Paralympic Games told us conclusively, that the source of facial expression of emotions must be resident in some innate biological program, that we all have and are born with and that we have from birth. And that everybody from around the world, as long as you’re a human has that. (…)

David Matsumoto – Professor of Psychology, San Francisco State University (transcription from the video by the editor)

(retrieved 04.02.2014 at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5G6ZR5lJgTI&feature=player_detailpage)

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(…) Central to all human interaction is the mutual understanding of emotions, achieved primarily by a set of biologically rooted social signals evolved for this purpose—facial expressions of emotion. Although facial expressions are widely considered to be the universal language of emotion (…), some negative facial expressions consistently elicit lower recognition levels among Eastern compared to Western groups (…).

Read the full pdf here.

(retrieved 12.02.2014 at http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0960982209014778)

For more information about expression of emotions see Perception and Expression of Emotions in Different Cultures.

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(reviewed 12.02.2014)

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  1. […] For more about facial expressions see The Origin of Facial Expressions […]


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