Emotion in Sports: Troy Dumais’ Final Dive

In case you missed it, Ventura native Troy Dumais called it quits this weekend, ending a diving career that spanned four Olympic Games and 38 national championships.

The 36-year-old Dumais was trying for his fifth Olympic squad but finished fourth in the 3-meter event at the team trials in Indianapolis.

Despite the disappointment, he received a long ovation from the crowd.

“What a way to go out,” he said. “The standing ovation in front of my family, seeing my family after I did the dive; I haven’t stopped crying since I was on the board.”

Dumais won bronze in the synchronized event at the 2012 London Games. He is also a seven-time medalist at the world championships dating back to 2005.

Fear or Surprise? A Mother’s Priceless Expression

Koto Nakamura and her husband, Sina Niakansafy, had been told their unborn baby was a girl. The Australian couple had planned to name their daughter Hinata, and had been showered with pink gifts for their baby in the weeks leading up to the delivery. However, when Nakamura gave birth to her baby, she was surprised to learn that she had a son, not a daughter.

While the image captured on camera has been dubbed as “surprise” by the media, Dr. Matsumoto says there is a lot of fear indicated by the whites above the eyes as well as the brows being up and horizontal.

Take a look at the priceless image below!

Understanding Another Person’s Emotion Signals Similarity, And May Make You Find Them More Attractive

71 wedding hands - indiaBy Dana Dovey for Medical Daily

Ever felt instantly attracted to a stranger but you couldn’t figure out why? Though you might have brushed it off as fate or destiny, a recent study has a much more scientific explanation: We may subconsciously be more attracted to strangers when we feel that we can accurately interpret their facial expressions and emotions. If confirmed, the study results will further support the idea that the search for love is ultimately a giant hunt to find someone just like you.

For the study, now published online in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a team of researchers from several institutions in Germany chose to closely examine the way in which instant attraction between strangers works in the brain. The team had 19 male and 21 female volunteers view videos of six different women as they expressed fear or sadness. The volunteers were then asked to choose which emotion they thought the models were displaying and mark down how confident they were about their choices. The volunteers were also asked before and after seeing the women in the videos to answer questions about them, such as how much they would like to meet them in real life. This was done to gauge their levels of attraction to the different women, according to Medical Xpress.

In a second experiment, a different set of volunteers was asked to watch the same videos of women showing different emotions. This time, however, the group underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scans to better understand the brain activity that occurred during the viewing. When the researchers combined data from the two experiments, a pattern began to take shape.

The more confident the volunteers were in their ability to correctly identify the models’ emotions, the more attracted to them they felt. The fMRI scans also showed that the reward centers in the volunteers’ brains lit up more when watching women whose emotions they felt they could read with confidence.

Science has already shown that a person is more likely to be attracted to someone that’s similar in every way possible. For example, a recent study of 1,523 pairs found that personalities between both romantic partners and friendship pairs were so common that being similar “could be described as a psychological default” for forming relationships.

“Likeness attracts likeness. It’s actually a myth that opposites attract,” Stacy Lynn Harp, a clinically trained marriage and family therapist in Tennessee, previously told Medical Daily. “Those who are seeking people who are similar understand that long-term compatibility is more likely with someone who is like themselves.”

This preference for likeness is so strong, according to Psychology Today, that we even tend to choose partners who physically resemble ourselves or our parents. The current study supports this research. According to the German team, the ability to recognize emotions is an indication of having similar “neural vocabulary.” Believing that you can understand a stranger’s emotions gives you a feeling of understanding and connectedness, which in turn increases how attracted you are to them.

Source: Anders S, de Jong R, Beck C, Haynes JD, Ethofer T. A neural link between affective understanding and interpersonal attraction. PNAS. 2016

Microexpressions on 9am with David & Kim

Humintell Director Dr. David Matsumoto discusses the topic of microexpressions with Australian morning show hosts David and Kim. Microexpressions are quick and fleeting facial expressions that are signs of concealed emotion.

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Facial Expressions for those with Facial Paralysis

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By Kathleen Bogart, Assistant Professor of Psychology, Oregon State University

Facial expressions are important parts of how we communicate and how we develop impressions of the people around us. In “The Expression of Emotion in Man and Animals,” Charles Darwin proposed that facial expressions evolved to quickly communicate emotional states important to social survival. He hypothesized that certain facial expressions are innate, and therefore universally expressed and recognized across all cultures.

In 1971, psychology researchers Paul Ekman and Wallace Friesen tested Darwin’s hypothesis. They enlisted members of the Fore tribe in Papua New Guinea, who at the time had little contact with Western culture, to do an emotion recognition task. An interpreter read stories about emotional events to members of the tribe, such as “her child has died, and she feels very sad.” The Fore were then asked to match photos of Americans’ facial expressions to the story. The researchers also took photos of the facial expressions of the Fore people and showed them to Americans later.

People from both cultures showed the same facial expressions for six “basic” emotions (anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness and surprise) and were able to recognize their meaning in others. This is strong evidence that certain emotions are evolutionarily based. In the decades since, research has continued to support Darwin’s hypothesis: for instance, showing that congenitally blind people display the same spontaneous expressions as sighted people. Indeed, facial expression may be one of the only universal languages.

So where does that leave people with facial paralysis? As a psychology professor with Moebius syndrome, a condition involving facial paralysis, I’m personally and professionally interested in what happens when the face is no longer the primary means of expression. My Disability and Social Interaction Lab at Oregon State University has been investigating this question.Kathleen Bogart’s Disability and Social Interaction Lab presenting research about Moebius Syndrome Awareness Day. Author provided

Types of facial paralysis

Each year, approximately 225,000 Americans are diagnosed with facial paralysis. It can be congenital, like Moebius syndrome or hereditary facial paralysis. It can also result from birth trauma if the facial nerve is damaged in the birth canal or by forceps delivery.

Acquired facial paralysis from an illness or an injury is far more common. Bell’s palsy, acoustic neuroma, Lyme disease, stroke, multiple sclerosis, ear infections, injury to the facial nerve and others can all lead to facial paralysis. Bell’s palsy, which typically affects one side of the face, is the most common. While it’s usually temporary, approximately 15 percent of people with Bell’s are left with paralysis that does not improve.

In a series of published and unpublished focus groups and interviews, my colleagues and I found that people with facial paralysis reported hearing all sorts of “interpretations” of their appearance. Strangers asked them if they had just gotten a Novocain shot, if they were having a stroke, or if the condition was contagious, deadly or painful. Some people made connections to the person’s character, assuming them to be unfriendly, unhappy or even intellectually disabled.

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