Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Open Peer Commentary

What's behind the smile?

John J. Ohalaa1

a1 Department of Linguistics, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-2650.


Many species' non-threat facial expression involves an open mouth and retracted lip corners – the smile. This served to make an accompanying vocalization sound like it originated from a smaller vocalizer. That such signals are deceptive and benefit primarily the signaler undermines the notion that the perception of the smile employs embodied simulation of the smiler's state.

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