Human sounds convey emotions clearer and faster than words

ScreamBrain uses ‘older’ systems/structures to preferentially process emotion expressed through vocalizations.

It takes just one-tenth of a second for our brains to begin to recognize emotions conveyed by vocalizations, according to researchers from McGill. It doesn’t matter whether the non-verbal sounds are growls of anger, the laughter of happiness or cries of sadness. More importantly, the researchers have also discovered that we pay more attention when an emotion (such as happiness, sadness or anger) is expressed through vocalizations than we do when the same emotion is expressed in speech.

read more

Let your head do the talking

Intellectual Business Woman Wearing Glasses Head TiltedHead movements play an important role in conveying emotions through speech and music

When people talk or sing, they often nod, tilt or bow their heads to reinforce verbal messages. But how effective are these head gestures at conveying emotions?

Very effective, according to researchers from McGill University in Montreal. Steven R. Livingstone and Caroline Palmer, from McGill’s Department of Psychology, found that people were highly accurate at judging emotions based on head movements alone, even in the absence of sound or facial expressions.

read more

Mind reading thanks to metaphors

Sharpen your ability to tune into other people's emotional or mental states by observing the metaphors they use. Why is this? Because metaphors can in fact help one to 'mind read'.

Nice to sniff you: Handshakes may engage our sense of smell

Why do people shake hands? A new Weizmann Institute study suggests one of the reasons for this ancient custom may be to check out each other's odors. Even if we are not consciously aware of this, handshaking may provide people with a socially acceptable way of communicating via the sense of smell.

Brainwaves can predict audience reaction

By analyzing the brainwaves of 16 individuals as they watched mainstream television content, researchers were able to accurately predict the preferences of large TV audiences