German Study On Holding Chopsticks In Between The Teeth –Mimicking A Smile
A recent study conducted by four German scientists has shown that different manipulations of facial expression leads to changes in the brain, which influences our performance and behavior. This significant research is very important for all laughter professionals as it reaffirms one of the core teachings of Laughter Yoga that our body cannot differentiate between real and fake laughter. It restates the fact that laughter originating from the body can bring changes in our brain chemistry and generate real emotions.
In this study, the subjects were asked to hold chopsticks between their teeth, which helped to induce a smile on the face by contracting a particular group of muscles. This led to release of dopaminergic chemicals which regulate the mood state.
There were three groups that were studied. The first group held the chopsticks horizontally between their teeth (this was the smile expression). The second had them vertically between the lips (no smile or frown expression), while the third was the control group with no chopsticks.
The study concluded that embodying emotions by inducing facial expression does lead to release of neuro chemicals which generates a positive mood state and increases the sense of well being. It confirms that faking a smile expression brings positive changes in the brain. This logically follows that laughing with your whole body, as practiced in Laughter Yoga, must be sending a lot of powerful biofeedback to the brain cells.
Embodied Emotion Modulates Neural Signature of Performance Monitoring
Daniel Wiswede, Thomas F. Muente, Ulrike M. Kraemer, Jascha Ruesseler Department of Neuropsychology, Otto-von Guericke Universitaet Magdeburg, Department of Psychosomatic Medicine, University of Ulm, Center for Behavioral Brain Science, Magdeburg, Hanse Institute for Advanced Study, Delmenhorst, Germany.
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