The Washington Post:
The Olympics is a laboratory for testing the limits of human strength and endurance. But it serves as a laboratory for other types of experiments, too.
One such experiment has been helping researchers to unlock the mystery of facial expressions. Psychologists have long debated whether the smiles, frowns and other expressions that people make are a universal reaction that humans are born with, or whether we learn them from those around us. If we are born with certain facial expressions, researchers argue, these expressions should be the same around the world. If these behaviors are learned, though, they might differ from place to place.
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