Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
This article is about a smile as a physiological phenomenon. For information on the album, see Smile (album), for the musical, see Smile (Musical) and for the bank, see smile (bank). Smile was also the name of the band later known as Queen.
In physiology, a smile is a facial expression formed by flexing muscles most notably near both ends of the mouth, but also around the eyes. Among humans, it is customarily an expression of pleasure or amusement, but can also be an involuntary expression of anxiety. Studies have shown smiles to be a normal reaction to certain stimuli and occur regardless of culture, and is also not a reaction one learns, but is born with, as children blind from birth smile. Among animals, smiles are often used as a threat (since it exposes the teeth) or a sign of submission.
Types of smiles
Researchers have identified a number of different types of smiles.
- The "Duchenne smile", after the researcher Guillaume Duchenne, is the most studied, and involves the movement of both the zygomatcus major muscle near the mouth and the orbicularis oculi muscle near the eyes. It is believed that the Duchenne smile is only produced as an involuntary response to genuine emotion, and is therefore what one could call the "genuine" smile.
- The "Pan American smile", on the other hand is the smile expressed to show politeness, for example by a flight attendant on the former airline with the same name. This type of smile has also been called the "Professional Smile" by David Foster Wallace in his comedic short story A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again (see link for relevant excerpt).
- Miller, Professor George A., et. al. Overview for "smile." Retrieved Dec. 12, 2003 from http://www.cogsci.princeton.edu/cgi-bin/webwn?stage=1&word=smile
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