Why do we like horror films, amusement park rides and?Halloween? Researchers have discovered that a look of horror makes a faster first impression on our brains than a smile. Our brains become aware of fearful faces more quickly than those showing other emotions?an evolutionary adaptation that has kept humans safe.

Psychologist David Zald says, “There are reasons to believe that the brain has evolved mechanisms to detect things in the environment that signal threat. One of those signals is a look of fear. We believe that the brain can detect certain cues even before we are aware of them, so that we can direct our attention to potentially threatening situations in our environment?What we believe is happening is that the happy faces signal safety. If something is safe, you don’t have to pay attention to it.”

Art credit: freeimages.co.uk

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