Charles Darwin and Emotions

As The Irondequoit Post reports, nearly 150 years ago Charles Darwin used photographs to study how humans use their face to show emotions.

Today researchers at Cambridge University use the power of the internet, videos and the technology of the 21st century to update Charles Darwin’s experiments. They believe the results could help them develop emotionally-aware computers capable of understanding their users’ emotions.

Research over the past several decades has documented seven universally expressed and recognized facial expressions of emotion: happiness, sadness, fear, surprise, anger, contempt and disgust. This idea about universal emotions started earlier than you might think: Charles Darwin (1809 – 1882) shared his ideas about the face and emotions in a book he wrote later in life, “The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals” (1872). Darwin thought that all mammals showed emotion reliably in their faces.

If you are interested in Darwin’s work, check out http://www.darwin200.org/.

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