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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Microexpressions: What You Really Think, and Now Computers Can Also Know

Machine Vision Algorithm Learns to Recognize Hidden Facial Expressions

Microexpressions reveal your deepest emotions, even when you are trying to hide them. Now a machine vision algorithm has learned to spot them, with wide-ranging applications from law enforcement to psychological analysis.

MIT Technology Review | November 13, 2015

[Blogger's note: For some time now, training courses in recognizing and understanding human microexpressions have been available. Detecting microexpressions can help spot instances in police interrogations where the subject is lying, in personal relations where the spouse is covering up, and in business negotiations where a false picture is being presented. Now a compute algorithm may be able to do this work even better.]
Most people are good at recognizing the ordinary emotions on other people’s faces. But there are another set of facial expression that most people are almost entirely unaware of. In the late 1960s, psychologists discovered that when humans try to hide their emotions, they often display their real feelings in “microexpressions” that appear and disappear in the blink of an eye.

The Microexpressions shown by Tim Roth in his Roe as Cal Lightman in Lie To Me . Source:

These fleeting facial expressions have fascinated psychologists and the general public ever since. It turns out that while most people are entirely oblivious to microexpressions, a tiny subset of individuals can spot them accurately and use them to tell when people are hiding their true feelings or when they are downright lying.

<more at; related links: (Can Split-Second Micro-Expressions Help Employers Hire Smarter? January 16, 2015) and [part 2 at:] (The Invention of Lying And How To Deal With It. February 25, 2011)>

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