You know what they say: when you’re smiling, the whole world smiles with you. As it turns out, there’s a reason for that. A study published in the journal Trends in Cognitive Sciences shows that mirroring other people’s facial expressions helps us connect.
“Most people are face perception experts,” the authors write. “Faces, especially those expressing emotion, automatically capture our attention, and we extract the emotional meaning of those faces in a matter of a few hundred milliseconds, even subconsciously. Expressions of intense emotion, such as a wide-eyed expression of fear or a toothy grin, may have evolved to be highly distinguishable signals, easily recognizable even from a distance.”
Facial Expression Mimicking
This study found that humans subconsciously “try on” each other’s expressions in order to understand how others are feeling. The authors reviewed 15 recent journal articles on facial expression mimicking and the role of muscle movements in emotion. There, they found evidence for what they call the sensorimotor simulation model of emotion perception. In plain English, they’re suggesting that we move our facial muscles to mimic the face in front of us, and that this movement triggers the memory of associated emotions, which triggers real emotion in the moment.
For more information visit: www.mentalfloss.com/article/75227/smiles-and-frowns-are-contagious-reason. To learn more about the benefits of chiropractic care and the benefits of making it part of your family’s wellness lifestyle click below to schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Elyssa today.