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The human brain has adapted to react to emoticons in the same way we would to expressions on real human faces, new research suggests.
Having first appeared in the 1980s, the pattern of brain activity triggered by looking at an emoticon smiley face is now the same as when someone sees a real smiling human face, scientists from the school of psychology at Australia's Flinders University in Adelaide said.
"There is no innate neural response to emoticons that babies are born with. Before 1982 there would be no reason that ':-)' would activate face sensitive areas of the cortex but now it does because we've learnt that this represents a face," Dr Owen Churches told ABC News.
"This is an entirely culturally-created neural response. It's really quite amazing."
reply to post by daaskapital
Evolution has ways of twisting around and eating its own tail. The Happy Face image now is registered by the brain the same as a smiling face, so I wonder how it's adapted to those McDonald arches, or the last scene in the original "Carrie". Egads, will future generations's brains accept Justin Bieber as a real singer? Boggles the mind.