Emotional Communication
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Emotional Communication
Musings about communication of emotion in music, speech, gesture, etc ...
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» No Relationship Between Contagious Yawning and Empathy - Psych Central News

» No Relationship Between Contagious Yawning and Empathy   - Psych Central News | Emotional Communication | Scoop.it
New research suggests that contagious yawning is not connected with empathy, a finding that refutes earlier hypotheses. Investigators from the Duke Center
SMART Lab's insight:

On the basis of their findings, the authors claim that there may be no relationship between yawning and empathy, as previously thought, but there are a few issues that cast doubt over the interpretation:

 

1. They did not assess empathy through a behavioural measure or by means of some sort of analysis of muscle or neural activity.

 

2. They presented multiple yawns, all of them on the screen and without audio.

 

3. They found that a questionnaire of empathy did not predict frequency of spontaneous yawns in response to visually presented yawns. The best predictor was age. Older participants were less likely to yawn.

 

And here is an alternative, potentially  more parsimoniuous interpretation: The paradigm was incapable of eliciting spontaneous yawning (video only, strangers on a screen) but younger participants were willing to play along and act the part in the manner that they believed experimenters expected (they are showing me yawns, so they must want me to yawn ...)

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demand_characteristics

 

Moreover, the interpretation of the results provided by the authors is  not consistent with prior findings showing a lack of spontaneous yawning in autism and other disorders that affect brain circuitry thought to underlie empathy.

 

Summary: The yawning response if best thought of as an automatic simulation of biological action. We respond to yawning spontaneously as we do to laughter because of brain circuitry that allows for automatic mimicry and imitation more generally. Mimicry is not the same as empathy but it is an important component of empathy. Automatic mimicry of vocal, facial, and other types of bodily movement is a biological imperative -- essential to the human condition -- allowing us to learn implicitly, respond to emotion, and co-exist as social animals.

 

 

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Crying Baby Calmed By Star Wars Theme Song Funny Videos

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When you don't feel like singing to baby, you can always rely on the star wars theme.

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Самый очаровательный уличный дуэт | Только позитив | Онлайн-кинотеатр | Смотреть видео приколы онлайн в хорошем качестве бесплатно

Самый очаровательный уличный дуэт | Только позитив | Онлайн-кинотеатр | Смотреть видео приколы онлайн в хорошем качестве бесплатно | Emotional Communication | Scoop.it
Самый очаровательный уличный дуэт
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Baby sings along with papa. No translation required.

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Why Does This Baby Cry When Her Mother Sings? (Viral Video)

Why Does This Baby Cry When Her Mother Sings? (Viral Video) | Emotional Communication | Scoop.it
Communicating emotion through face and melody
SMART Lab's insight:

You've probably seen this video at some point over the last couple of days. My in-box has been filling up with questions about whether I've seen the video and what my thoughts are. This post on Psychology today by my colleague Siu-Lan Tan prompted me to jot down some of my own thoughts on the subject.

 

We have been conducting research concerning vocal-emotional communication in my lab for a few years now. To the best of my knowledge, our lab was the first to show electromyographic evidence for facial mimicry in response to song (first in 2009 and then more definitively in 2013). The majority of the facial mimicry research uses photographs of emotional faces but we have been using brief clips of emotional song instead. Observing these songs reliably elicits rapid and preattentive facial mimicry wherein the facial expression of the performer is mirrored by the observer. The preverbal infant in this video may be relying on this process of mimicry to understand her mother's emotional intent.

 

Our reliance on facial mimicry to understand emotion may actually be enhanced in the context of song. As Siu-Lan points out, songs tend to convey emotion in an exaggerated manner (think of Adele in "Someone like you" or Freddie Mercury in "Bohemian Rhapsody"). The emotion in song is supported by structural aspects including tempo, key, and the use of consonance and dissonance.. Using eye tracking methods, we've found that consonant intervals lead observers to direct their gaze toward a singer's eyes. In addition, the rhythm in song promotes entrainment, which may facilitate synchronization of facial movement between performer and observer. However, it's important to note that at this point no evidence exists that song leads to greater mimicry than speech, nor do we know whether facial mimicry during the perception of song is possible in the abscence of visual cues. 

 

Another way to think about this video is with respect to infant emotion regulation. Moms (and to a lesser extent dads) around the world find themselves instinctively engaging in infant-directed singing, presumably to regulate emotion. A recently completed dissertation by Niusha Ghazban (under the supervision of Jean-Paul Boudreau and with support from Sandra Trehub and myself) showed that song is more powerful than speech in regulating stress in infants, and that playful songs are more effective than soothing songs. Support for this conclusion came from physiological markers and from simple observations of the infants' facial reactions. The fussing seems to go silent soon after the onset of singing, with eyes opening wide and bright as if to let the whole affect that mom has on offer to come pouring in. We have come to refer to this informally as the "deer in headlights effect". As the singing continues, the deer eyes soften and the mimicry begins.

 

- Frank Russo, Director, SMART Lab

 

http://www.ryerson.ca/smart/

 

Chan, L., Livingstone, S., & Russo, F. A. (2013). Automatic facial mimicry of emotion during perception of song. Music Perception, 30, 361-367.

 

Ghazban, N. (2013). Emotion regulation in infants using maternal singing and speech. (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada.

 

Russo, F. A., Sandstrom, G. M., & Maksimowski, M. (2011). Mouth versus eyes: Gaze fixation during perception of sung interval size. Psychomusicology: Music, Mind & Brain, 21, 98-107.

 

Trehub, S. E., Unyk, A. M., & Trainor, L. J. (1993). Maternal singing in cross-cultural perspective. Infant Behavior and Development, 16,

285-295.

 

 

 

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