Scientific Understanding of Consciousness
Facial Recognition and Communication
Humans have an exquisite ability to recognize faces.
Along with other primates such as chimps, humans use facial expression for communication.
Human infants in the early weeks of life gaze at the caregiverís face and communicate with the caregiver via facial expressions.† An infantís responsive smile at about six weeks is a caregivers delight.† This facial recognition and communication by infants is innate; it requires no training and learning.
When an infant observes the cooing happy face of its mother or father, the face acts as a sign stimulus that initiates the innate releasing mechanism in the brain to trigger that fixed action pattern of smiling back, thereby setting up a symphony of parent-child staring and cooling and smiling -- and bonding attachment. (Shermer; Believing Brain, 69)
Facial recognition neural synaptic efficacies were built into our brains by evolution because of the importance of the face in establishing and maintaining relationships, reading emotions, and determining trust in social interactions. (Shermer; Believing Brain, 69)
We scan others' faces for emotional leakage: sadness, disgust, joy, surprise, anger, and happiness. (Shermer; Believing Brain, 69)
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