Posts in Emotion
Tourette Syndrome: My involuntary nonverbal response to a sudden verbal tic.

Why do we judge people from the moment we see them? And when we feel threatened by them, what happens during our body’s emergency response to fear. Read about my involuntary nonverbal behaviours when I encountered a guy with Tourette Syndrome. Both our bodies reacting to a stimulus.

Read More
Emotion Spotting: Expressions and Microexpressions

Are you missing an important channel of communication?

Most of us listen to spoken words as we interact with others, but not many people pay conscious attention to what remains unspoken. Words can, and do, convey lots of complex thoughts, theories and feelings, but they are usually filtered and adapted to create a certain impression, giving you, the listener, the 'intended' message. There are lots of reasons for this– to be more amicable, to maintain relationships, to deceive, to conceal emotions, to make others feel better– to name a few. So it's not all bad. Imagine if everybody spoke their thoughts– Ouch! In many situations, however, you could benefit from knowing more and having a good understanding of how the person you interact with really feels, whether it's potential deception in a negotiation or marriage, or when you just want a family member to be more open with you.

Read More
What are Universal Expressions?

Scientists have found that the muscles in our face can produce 30 independent movements– 12 in the upper face, and 18 in the lower face. Working together in various combinations, these muscle movements are capable of creating thousands of expressions. However, most scientists agree that out of all of these expressions, only seven are 'universal'– innate within all of us, regardless of culture. They are...

Read More
Sharing some good news: I'm working on a TED-Ed animation!

Yippee, I got the go ahead to share my good news with you! I've been working on a script for a TED-Ed animation and it's finally coming to fruition. The TED-Ed team have brought in the director, animator and narrator/actor to work their magic and bring it to life. This is a huge thrill for me, since I've been a TED obsessive for years. My TED-Ed lesson animation is about emotional expression– universal expressions, so over the next few weeks, I'll be posting some supporting information on the subject on my blog. 

If you aren't already familiar with TED-Ed animations, here's one by Peter Mende-Siedlecki, I think you may find it interesting- it's about first impressions, which are incredibly important for setting us up for successful interactions. It's less than 5 minutes long. 

Read More
Loss of a Loved One: Observed Nonverbal Behaviours and Emotion

I've been quiet on my blog for a while now because I lost my beautiful mother in May. I've wanted to share with you some observations during my experience of loss– of emotion and nonverbal expression– I'm finally ready to write about it. I'm not sharing my experience of loss as such, but what I want to do here is mention some behaviours that felt noteworthy, illustrating some of the nonverbal cues that I usually write about. 

It was sudden and unexpected, so much so, that I didn't get a chance to say goodbye. Living on the other side of the world, I hadn't seen my mum for over two years. I was 'greeted' at the airport by my sister, who reluctantly stepped forth from behind her partner, his body temporarily and unknowingly shielding her from what she had to do. They were waiting right at the very back of the crowd, distancing themselves from the reality of what she was about to disclose.

Read More