You may not notice it — at least not as much as you notice when you smile sarcastically — but you smile when you’re frustrated. It’s more like a surprised grimace than a happy grin, but the difference is subtle. So subtle that humans can hardly detect it, actually — but a computer can. New research with smile-detection could help people interpret others’ expressions, including people with autism, according to scientists at MIT.
An Australian researcher has built algorithms that let computers experience free thinking and emotion, allowing them to respond to simple moral lessons found in Aesop’s Fables.
Upon freely associating a trifecta of stories involving birds — “The Thirsty Pigeon,” “The Cat and the Cock” and “The Wolf and the Crane” — the computer responded, “I felt sad for the bird.”
Plenty of human-gadget interfaces can let you control a robot or a computer with your mind. But these communications are command-based -- your PR2 still can't tell whether you're asking it for a beer to celebrate, or to drink away your sorrows. An EEG-based affective computing system allows you to communicate your emotions, adding a new layer to human-computer interactions.
Although autism affects people in different ways, many children with the disorder don't like looking directly at people's faces, because they find expressions unpredictable and disquieting. This makes it hard for them to learn to read emotions in others.
The Transporters, developed by a team at the U.K.'s Autism Research Centre at Cambridge University, entices autistic children to look at expressions by superimposing actor's faces onto the fronts of animated toy boats, cable cars, and other kid-friendly vehicles.
Neuroscience: Almost everybody gets pleasure from some kind of pain.
By Gunjan SinhaPosted 03.26.2002 at 7:04 pm 1 Comment
Almost everybody gets pleasure from some kind of pain. Some people like their food so hot it makes them sweat; others get off on the "burn" that comes from a hellacious workout. Scientists, meanwhile, are hard at work figuring out why some things hurt so good.
Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital have discovered that the part of the brain called the nucleus accumbens, which lights up when people feel pleasure, also does so when they feel pain. This, says David Borsook, one of the study's authors, proves that there's a bona fide intersection between pain and pleasure.