Friday, June 20, 2008

Video: Why a scared expression brings a survival advantage

A new paper in Nature Neuroscience (which I haven't read, because I can't access it) argues facial expressions have an adaptive value. Specifically, the study found that the fear expression enhances sight and air-intake, while the expression of disgust reduces air intake. Check out the great New Scientist video (embedded below or click here) that admirably explains the study's results.

(See also: New Scientists' article and ScienceNOW's take).


  1. This is pretty cool. It fits with some older research showing that getting subjects to adopt some facial expressions affected their approval ratings for unrelated stimuli presented at the same time. Also, obviously, good news for Darwinists about the nature and expression of emotion and further bad news for constructivist bozos and Mead-ites.

  2. Indeed. I found it particularly interesting that disgust and fear expressions are mirror images of each other (this bit was in the abstract). Also, it suggests the facial expression of fear is properly part of the flight or fight response.

    Cool findings, overall. I'll have to read the paper to have an opinion about the rigor of their methods tho.