Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging

Rachael Jack's research that suggests that people from different cultures read facial expressions differently has received extensive international press coverage and turned out to be the most read and most shared item on the BBC News website.

Rachael is quoted - "Interestingly, although the eye region is ambiguous, subjects tended to bias their judgements towards less socially-threatening emotions - surprise rather than fear, for example. This perhaps highlights cultural differences when it comes to the social acceptability of emotions." This difference in perception is also reflected in the differences between Eastern and Western emoticons - the typographical characters used to convey emotions in e-mails. The Eastern emoticons are not only the right way up but focus on the eyes, whilst in the West the mouth is important.

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