This week, we're talking about Facial Emotion Recognition Ability. The reality is, some people get it. They know exactly how you're feeling by looking at your face. But some people just don't.
It turns out that this isn't just a matter of poor emotional intelligence or social skills. Our ability to recognize emotions from faces is important in our interactions with people, and our inability to do so can be a symptom of mental health conditions such as autism, schizophrenia, and depression.
In one genome-wide association study, investigators looked at the association between genes and scores on the Diagnostic Analysis of Non-Verbal Accuracy test (which measures one's ability to recognize happiness, sadness, anger, or fear in actors' faces). While they did not find any statistically significant gene loci associated with emotion recognition, they did find a few candidate genes that suggest a genetic influence on this ability. Interestingly one candidate gene found has been previously linked to schizophrenia. Get the full details here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28608620
How much of a 'natural' are you at recognizing emotions in people's faces? Check Genomelink to find out.