Computers able to tell if we're faking pain
Your ability to detect whether another person’s facial expressions are genuine may be less accurate than that of a computer, according to new research.
In the study, scientists from the University of California-San Diego focused on two motor systems in the brain that control facial movement—one that controls faked facial expressions of emotion and one that controls genuine expressions. Focusing specifically on how humans express feelings of pain, researchers found that humans were only able to distinguish between genuine versus phony expressions with a 55 percent accuracy rate. The researchers then tested a computer system that was created to measure facial movements and recognize patterns. They found that the computer system was able to pick up on the subtle differences between real and fake emotions with an 85 percent accuracy rate.
The findings, published in the journal Current Biology, suggest that humans are able to successfully dupe others with faked expressions of emotion because of the way our brains are built. The researchers said that with additional research, the computer system may be used in the future to identify areas of deception that occur in industries such as homeland security, law and medicine.