Computer-generated Emotions May Help You Smile When You Are Depressed

Emoticons help us to express our words or feelings to someone without saying anything. And now it’s been found that emotions may help someone smile when he/she is depressed. Lately a group of researchers has created a virtual “mirror” that uses software to brighten your facial expression. It could help you feel happier than you actually are.

Laughing Emoticons

Smiling can reduce stress and improve someone’s mood. Based on this theory, Japanese researchers have developed a system called “Emotion Evoking System” which is capable of manipulating your emotions and personal preferences by presenting you with an image of your own smiling or frowning face. The researchers were interested to see if the principle that emotional drives can be driven by physiological ones, could be used to build a computer system that manipulates how people feel.

The newly system works by showing a user a webcam image of his or her face – just like they would see when they looked in a mirror. A software subtly alters the image and turns the corners of the mouth up or down and changes area around the eyes, so that he/she appears to smile or frown.

Currently, the prototype system generates just two facial expressions — the simple “Smiley Face” and “Sad Face.” Researchers have mentioned that the system can be used to manipulate consumers’ impressions of products.

Source: New Scientist

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