Asymmetries in face and brain related to emotion

Trends Cogn Sci. 2004 Sep;8(9):389-91. doi: 10.1016/j.tics.2004.07.006.


Research on the neural substrates of emotion has found evidence for cortical asymmetries for aspects of emotion. A recent article by Nicholls et al. has used a new imaging method to interrogate facial movement in 3D to assess possible asymmetrical action during expressions of happiness and sadness. Greater left-sided movement, particularly during expressions of sadness was observed. These findings have implications for understanding hemispheric differences in emotion and lend support to the notion that aspects of emotion processing might be differentially localized in the two hemispheres.

MeSH terms

  • Affect / physiology*
  • Arousal / physiology
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Facial Expression
  • Functional Laterality / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional / instrumentation
  • Visual Perception / physiology*