Streams

The Science of Smiling

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Carl Zimmer, contributor to The New York Times' Science Times and author of Brain Cuttings: Fifteen Journeys Through the Mind, talks about developments in the research of smiling and what smiling means for our brains.

President Obama's smile was impressively consistent when he posed for photographs with 130 foreign dignitaries at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2009.  Check out the video below, from Bus Your Own Tray blogger Eric Spiegelman.

Guests:

Carl Zimmer

Comments [10]

gab from Westchester, NY

Although it's an over-used icon—and thus to my slight discomfort—I often find myself adding the text smile to my emails. It's a way of ensuring that the context is friendly, especially when time is tight and my messages are terse. : )

Jan. 26 2011 12:13 PM
Carol Markel from New York

Obama looks like a cardboard cutout.

Jan. 26 2011 12:01 PM
Jim B from W. Orange, NJ

A woman would sooner leave the house without her purse than without her smile. Aren't the social uses of women's smiles a broad category in itself?

Jan. 26 2011 12:00 PM
Jim B from W. Orange, NJ

A woman would sooner leave the house without her purse than without her smile. Aren't the social uses of womens' smiles a broad category in itself?

Jan. 26 2011 11:59 AM
Jim B from W. Orange, NJ

A woman would sooner leave the house without her purse than without her smile. Aren't the social uses of womens' smiles a broad category in itself?

Jan. 26 2011 11:58 AM
Sarah

I always notice that Amy Eddings smiles when she comes on in the afternoon and says "thanks so much for tuning in". You can hear it in her voice. It's so nice!

Jan. 26 2011 11:57 AM
Theresa from Brooklyn

What about the "monocle smile"?

Jan. 26 2011 11:57 AM
Steve S. from Washington Heights

What about the cultural component to smiling? I lived in Japan for awhile, and people there don't always smile for the same reasons we do. Often, Japanese people smile to defray embarrassment. It was sometimes very confusing, because at first I thought they found me amusing. Not always so!

Jan. 26 2011 11:54 AM
perri from NYC

I think the term for a "fake" smile is called a Duchenne smile.

Jan. 26 2011 11:11 AM
a g from n j

i am not commenting on any specific person,but i personally, don't trust anyone with a strained smile. or, people who smile in one speed. i am not sure, however, how one gets far in politics, without the armour, of an all purpose smile. oh........politics

Jan. 26 2011 10:47 AM

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