Various insights from “The Age of Insight”

Continuing in my reading of Eric Kandel’s neuroscience tome “The Age of Insight,” I come across the following:

(Scientist) Ulf Dimberg… found that when a person is shown the facial expression of an emotion, even briefly, it elicits small contractions in the person’s facial muscles that simulate the expression he or she has just observed.

Fascinating – it seems Ulf Dimberg is not so dim after all! When we see a person’s expression, we ever so slightly mock it up on our face. I went through the book looking at the various faces in paintings presented and found myself doing this. In fact, I don’t think it really comes as a surprise – we are aware (at least I am) of our tendency to do this.

Another interesting tidbit in the book. We have a region in the brain that only responds to the motion of living things. For example, this region would activate when watching a person or cat moving, but not a bouncing ball. I’m curious how it would respond to the motions of a human looking robot?

  1. No Comments