Science behind Real Smile and Fake Smile

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Quote 1: Because of your SMILE, you make your life more beautiful.

Quote 2: SMILING is the best way to face every problem, i.e. to crush every fear & to hide every pain!

Do you know why the portrait of Mona Lisa is the most famous paintings of all time? Yes, it’s because of her unique smile! Have you ever come across when someone gives you a FAKE SMILE? Are you able to recognize the difference between a FAKE SMILE and a REAL SMILE? During a ceremony, you may come across someone having a FAKE SMILE; however, you may recall a TRUE SMILE of your mother (or lover) with a substance of full genuine love! It’s inevitable true that our smile is the greatest symbol rated with the highest positive emotional content in our mind.

Let’s take a happy situation when all of a sudden you come across your lover and you do experience a POSITIVE SITUATION around you. The ocular signals of eyes goes to occipital lobe of the brain for recognition and then neuronal signals reach to neocortex (part of brain which has developed in recent some thousands of years and is important for higher-order cognitive functions), followed by reaching to brainstem, a part of paleomammalian brain (also known as reptilian brain and is the oldest part of our brain and thus necessary for survival purpose). From there, the neuronal signals reach to smiling muscles of the face through VII cranial nerve. Primarily, there are only two pairs of muscles of our face associated with a smile. Once the smiling muscles in our face contract, there is a positive feedback loop that now goes back to the brain and reinforces our feeling of joy. However, in totality, our face has up to 43 different types of muscles.

Many a times even a SMILE stimulates our brain’s REWARD SYSTEM in a way that even a chocolate, a well-regarded pleasure-inducer, cannot match (recall a scene of a movie where a heroine smiles and the hero starts doing even herculean job so nicely!) When you smile, then there are two kinds of muscles that are involved in our face (a) zygomatic major muscle & (b) orbicularis oculi muscle. The zygomaticus major muscle controls the corners of our mouth and whenever only this muscle is activated, it’s not actually a genuine smile. This is called “social smile”. The second muscle, known to show the sincerity of person to the said situation, is the obicularis occuli muscle and it encircles our eye socket. This way, a FAKE SMILE does not involve the EYE MUSCLES, while a GENUINE SMILE involves not only cheek muscle but also eye muscle together. The true smile is also called a Duchenne smile, named after the famous French scientist Guillaume Duchenne. In Duchenne smile, the orbicularis oculi muscle contracts and forms wrinkles on the outer edge of your eyes (also known as crow’s feet) and our eyes close up as the cheeks move upwards. Crow’s feet of our eyes are wrinkles etched in the corner of eyes. Unlike wrinkles or expression lines on other areas of the face, crow’s feet can appear to look deeper or more pronounced on the skin. Major causes of crow’s feet include UV exposure, loss of collagen and elasticity that arises with our age.

Our (attentive) brain, in fact, may distinguish very easily between a FAKE and GENUINE SMILE by (a) attention to the geometry of a person’s face (b) paying a logic to the situation whether a smile if really expected or not?, & (c) by mimicking the smile to feel ourselves whether it is fake or real. If it was real, then our brain will activate the same areas from the smiler (person) and thus we can identify it as a real smile (mirror-neuron phenomenon explains sympathy and copying other person’s action)

Do you know that SMILING do change our brain through the powerful feedback loop and our brain keeps track of our all smiles (smile scorecard)? It knows how often we have smiled. Smiling reduces the stress that our body and mind feel, just similar to getting sound sleep at night? Smiling helps to generate more positive emotions in our mind and that’s why we often feel HAPPIER around little CHILDREN, as they really SMILE MORE than adults, don’t you agree with me? On an average, a child smiles more than 400 times a day and we adults only up to 40-50 times (however, some proudly BIG BOSSES hardly laugh in a whole day???)

One may practice for REAL SMILE by standing against the MIRROR by involving both MOUTH CORNERS and EYE CORNERS. Would you agree that overall WOMEN smile more than MEN? It’s not because they are truly happier, rather they show more “Social Smile” (sorry if someone feels offended?). In general, women are more accurate than men in detecting a FAKE SMILE.

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