Thursday, June 15, 2006

Emotional Communication in Humans and other Primates.

This is the title of a review by Parr et al. (Current Opinion in Neurobiology, vol. 15, pp 716-720, Dec. 2005), whose abstract I include here, with a main point of this post being to show pictures of the similar facial muscle groups used by humans and chimpanzees in emotional communication.

Credit: Current Opinions in Neurobiology.

"The social brain hypothesis proposes that large neocortex size in Homonoids evolved to cope with the increasing demands of complex group living and greater numbers of interindividual relationships. Group living requires that individuals communicate effectively about environmental and internal events. Recent data have highlighted the complexity of chimpanzee communication, including graded facial expressions and referential vocalizations. Among Hominoids, elaborate facial communication is accompanied by specializations in brain areas controlling facial movement. Finally, the evolution of empathy, or emotional awareness, might have a neural basis in specialized cells in the neocortex, that is, spindle cells that have been associated with self-conscious emotions, and mirror neurons that have recently been shown to activate in response to communicative facial gestures."


  1. It was wondering if I could use this write-up on my other website, I will link it back to your website though.Great Thanks.
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  2. Yes. Feel free to link to any of my blog posts. You should acknowledge the source of text you use.