STUDY: Alcohol Helps you Recognize Facial Expressions?

The Holidays are near, which for many means the bubbly will be making it’s annual appearance.  But, according to new research, that could be a good thing!

A recent study suggests that alcohol can have a positive affect on a person’s ability to recognize the universal facial expressions of disgust and contempt. The full text can be found in Kingston University London Research Repository.

You must be a member to receive access to the full text of the study but this can be good news and can come in handy at holiday office parties.

A relevant article from the The Times of India: Health & Fitness reveals that new information on how we process facial expressions and the role of facial mimicry from deciphering an unclear smile to establishing relationships.

Mimicry activates muscles that control both smiles and frowns, and evoke their corresponding emotions, positive and negative.  The studies reveal new roles of facial mimicry and some of its underlying brain circuitry.

An interesting fact, reported on by The Times of India, is that social status and self-perceptions of power seem affect facial mimicry.  Powerful individuals were shown to suppress their smile mimicry towards other high-status people, while powerless individuals seem to mimic everyone’s smile.

 “Today’s findings highlight the role of facial expressions in communication and social behaviour,” said press conference moderator Ruben Gur, PhD, of the University of Pennsylvania.

These findings were presented at Neuroscience 2012, the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience.  Gur goes on to state, “Brain circuits that interpret the face appear ever more specialized, from primate ‘eye cells,’ to brain feedback that enables us to discern meaning through facial mimicry.”

 Have you had many interesting experiences with facial expressions?  How about with a new baby mimicking your facial expressions?  


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