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We React To Emoticons The Same Way We React To Human Faces, Research Shows

Travelers Today       By    Ashley Sneddon

Updated: Feb 27, 2014 12:08 PM EST

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New research is claiming that we react to emoticons in the same way we react to a human face.

Emoticons have been handy since the dawn of the internet, letting us get our mood across in a message which may otherwise seem churlish or sarcastic. 

Now, new research says that they may be having an effect on our mentality.

Published in Social Neuroscience, researchers have found that we react to emoticons much in the same way we react to seeing people's faces as we have a face-to-face conversation. 

In the study, 20 people were asked to look at pictures of people's faces and emoticons while their brains were monitored.   However, when faces were inverted: (-: instead of the usual :-) , there was no recognition. 

Dr Churches, who conducted the study, said emoticons were becoming a new type of language, but admits he's not a fan of them.

"The learnt association between the shape of emoticons and their meaning is similar to the learnt association between letters of the alphabet and their meaning, which we all learnt as children.  We have a basic need to show emotions, and when there are obstacles doing this, we look for a way around them." he told The Metro newspaper. 

See Now: The U.S. had the highest number of Most Wanted properties, dominating the Hotels.com Loved By Guests Awards 2018

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science, research, internet, emoticons, human faces, human research, internet life
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