In a new study by scientists from Germany, it was discovered that the facial expressions of mice changed according to different emotions.
Scientists from the Max Planck Neurobiology Institute in Germany have discovered that facial expressions change according to emotions such as disgust or pleasure. In the study, in which machine learning algorithms were also used, facial expressions of mice for 6 emotions were determined.
Scientists have recorded the reactions of mice to sweet and bitter foods, electric shock and fearful events such as lithium chloride injection. These records were then used in a kind of machine learning algorithm to describe facial expressions such as pleasure, disgust, nausea, pain, fear, and scare.
After the facial expressions of the mice were determined, neuronal activities of different regions of the brain were examined using brain imaging methods to learn how these facial expressions correspond to the brain. In this way, the researchers found that the different emotions of the mice were reflected in their facial expressions by activating the brain areas known to play a role in emotional processes.
Scientists have seen that mice show a satisfied facial expression when a dilute saline solution is applied, and a disgusting facial expression when they give a more intense saline solution. The mice given a solution of sugar showed a much more cheerful facial expression than other mice.
Changes in facial expressions of mice according to different emotions
The leader of the study of discovering facial expressions of mice, Dr. Nadine Gogolla noted that by recording the facial expressions of mice, the basic neuronal mechanisms behind the emotions of mice can be revealed. Gogolla said that determining the basic neuronal mechanisms of mouse brains can also benefit studies of human diseases.
Researchers think that the revealing of brain models of mice may be the basis for studies on whether human emotions cause any mental health disorders or diseases such as anxiety, depression.