We are pre-wired to perceive wrinkles around the eye as conveying more sincerity: Study
08/30/2018 // Edsel Cook // Views

They say the eyes are the windows to the soul. But California- and Miami-based researchers believe that our eyes' equivalent of a window-frame is the facial feature that projects sincerity. In an article on Science Daily, they reported that the wrinkles around the eyes trigger the human brain to believe that the person in question is being more sincere with his or her emotions.

This eye wrinkle is called the Duchenne marker. It often appears whenever a person is expressing certain facial expressions associated with strong emotions, such as smiles, grimaces caused by pain and/or sadness. Western University (WU) researchers conducted a study on the human brain's perception of this facial marker using visual rivalry method.

Visual rivalry projects different images in each eye of a participant. The brain switches back and forth between the images, but it will eventually settle on the one that it perceives to be more important more often than not.

Participants of the WU experiment were shown photos of different facial expressions. Some of the expressions displayed the Duchenne marker, while others did not. Each participant selected the image that they believed to be more emotionally sincere. (Related: “Flash bulb” memory breakthrough may help those with traumatic or suppressed memories.)

People believe eye wrinkles are a show of emotional sincerity

WU researcher Dr. Julio Martinez-Trujillo acted as the principal investigator for the study. He explained that visual rivalry provides a glimpse into the unconscious. The method allowed researchers like himself to discern what the human brain automatically perceives to be more relevant.


"The expressions involving the Duchenne marker were always dominant. So if the emotion is more intense, your brain actually prefers to bring it into perceptual awareness for longer time," stated Martinez-Trujillo.

In the experiment, he and his fellow researchers requested the participants to grade the expressions according to the apparent intensity and sincerity. They reported that the participants considered the sad expressions and smiles with Duchenne markers to be more genuine and profound than the ones which lacked such markers.

Based on these findings, first author and WU researcher Nour Malek said that there is apparently a universal language when it comes to interpreting emotions. Facial actions could play just one role in many different facial expressions.

This pattern seems to hold very true if the facial action happens to affect interactions with other people, Malek elaborated. If a stranger gives you a smile that appears to be sincere, you are more likely to consider that person to be trustworthy. But if you consider the smile to be faked, you might be deciding between fight or flight reactions.

The Duchenne marker is a vital part of the language of facial expression

For the experiment, Malek, Martinez-Trujillo, and other WU researchers worked alongside their counterparts from the University of Miami (UM). They believe the results of their experiment will help answer a common question regarding facial expressions: Why do they often involve certain facial actions?

UM professor Daniel Messinger, one of the researchers involved in the study, pointed out the long-standing scientific interest in the existence of a language of facial expression. Constriction of the eyes is apparently an important part of this theoretical language.

"When you have social interactions you need to perceive whether a person is sincere or not," remarked Martinez-Trujillo. "So my interest now is, what will be the results if we do this same test with people with autism spectrum disorder. They often have trouble reading out emotions from other people, so we wonder if that might have to do with their ability to read this marker for sincerity."

Discover more articles on human emotions and perception at Scientific.news.

Sources included:



Related News
Take Action:
Support Natural News by linking to this article from your website.
Permalink to this article:
Embed article link:
Reprinting this article:
Non-commercial use is permitted with credit to NaturalNews.com (including a clickable link).
Please contact us for more information.
Free Email Alerts
Get independent news alerts on natural cures, food lab tests, cannabis medicine, science, robotics, drones, privacy and more.
App Store
Android App
eTrust Pro Certified

This site is part of the Natural News Network © 2022 All Rights Reserved. Privacy | Terms All content posted on this site is commentary or opinion and is protected under Free Speech. Truth Publishing International, LTD. is not responsible for content written by contributing authors. The information on this site is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice of any kind. Truth Publishing assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material. Your use of this website indicates your agreement to these terms and those published here. All trademarks, registered trademarks and servicemarks mentioned on this site are the property of their respective owners.

This site uses cookies
Natural News uses cookies to improve your experience on our site. By using this site, you agree to our privacy policy.
Learn More
Get 100% real, uncensored news delivered straight to your inbox
You can unsubscribe at any time. Your email privacy is completely protected.