Tags: face | expressive | evolution | emotion

Expressive Faces May Have Evolved to Show More Emotion: Study

Expressive Faces May Have Evolved to Show More Emotion: Study

Facial expressions may have evolved along with humans, a new study says. (Camrocker/Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Monday, 09 April 2018 04:39 PM

A new study suggests that as Homo sapiens evolved, their faces became more expressive to show emotions better and promote social communication.

The research from the University of York admits to being speculative in nature, but suggests the prominent ridged brows of earlier human species like Homo heidelbergensis and Neanderthals served the purpose of physical dominance, and evolution occurred to adapt to more of a need for understanding and sympathy, The Guardian reported.

“We moved from a position where we wanted to compete, where looking more intimidating was an advantage, to one where it was better to get on with people, to recognize each other from afar with an eyebrow flash, and to sympathize and so on,” study co-author and York paleolithic archaeologist Penny Spikins said, The Guardian reported. 

The researchers came to their conclusions by eliminating biological reasons for the earlier ridged brow, concluding that its purpose was for social communication because it was not needed for any biological reason, Science Daily reported.  

“Since the shape of the brow ridge is not driven by spatial and mechanical requirements alone, and other explanations for brow ridges such as keeping sweat or hair out of eyes have already been discounted, we suggest a plausible contributing explanation can be found in social communication,” senior paper author and York anatomy professor Paul O’Higgins said, Science Daily reported. 

Social networks helped Homo sapiens to survive hard times as earlier species like the Neanderthals died out, Spikins said.

“Eyebrow movements allow us to express complex emotions as well as perceive the emotions of others,” she said, Science Daily reported. “Eyebrows are the missing part of the puzzle of how modern humans managed to get on so much better with each other than other now-extinct hominins.”

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A new study suggests that as Homo sapiens evolved, their faces became more expressive to show emotions better and promote social communication.
face, expressive, evolution, emotion
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2018-39-09
Monday, 09 April 2018 04:39 PM
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