The evolutionary mystery of why our faces contort when we are scared has been solved by a team of Canadian neuroscientists. When our facial expression shifts to one of eye-bulging, nostril-flaring fear, our ability to sense attackers or other imminent danger improves dramatically, researchers found. The findings lend support to an idea first laid out by Charles Darwin in one of his less well-known tomes, The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals, published in Darwin noted that facial expressions of emotion were often remarkably similar across human cultures, and even the animal kingdom, implying they may have a common evolutionary benefit.
Face of fear: how a terrified expression could keep you alive
Facial expressions—including fear—may not be as universal as we thought | Science | AAAS
Face Processing: perspectives from cognitive science and psychopathology View all 8 Articles. Spatial frequency SF components encode a portion of the affective value expressed in face images. The aim of this study was to estimate the relative weight of specific frequency spectrum bandwidth on the discrimination of anger and fear facial expressions. The general paradigm was a classification of the expression of faces morphed at varying proportions between anger and fear images in which SF adaptation and SF subtraction are expected to shift classification of facial emotion. A series of three experiments was conducted.
Neural Responses to Rapid Facial Expressions of Fear and Surprise
Facial expression recognition is mediated by a distributed neural system in humans that involves multiple, bilateral regions. There are six basic facial expressions that may be recognized in humans fear, sadness, surprise, happiness, anger, and disgust ; however, fearful faces and surprised faces are easily confused in rapid presentation. The functional organization of the facial expression recognition system embodies a distinction between these two emotions, which is investigated in the present study. A core system that includes the right parahippocampal gyrus BA 30 , fusiform gyrus, and amygdala mediates the visual recognition of fear and surprise. We found that fearful faces evoked greater activity in the left precuneus, middle temporal gyrus MTG , middle frontal gyrus, and right lingual gyrus, whereas surprised faces were associated with greater activity in the right postcentral gyrus and left posterior insula.
This article is part 3 of the series Reading emotions through facial expressions. In the previous articles i gave an introduction about reading facial expressions then i explained how you can recognize anger and sadness in their early stages through someone's face. Today i am going to talk about fear and how you can recognize a person who felt slightly afraid because of something that you said or because of something that happened. Then reason i used the word "slightly" is that intense fear can usually be recognized by most people.