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    Mimic language: how does it help us to understand the other?

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    Louise Hay

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    The definition "Mimic language" refers,
    roughly, our ability to express what we feel through
    gestures. However, in addition to conscious mimic language (the one we use
    to make us understand by people who do not speak our language) there is also a
    mimic language that manifests itself automatically and that is expressed, however
    example, when we see a person in pain and imitate his gestures of
    pain unconsciously or when we see someone cheerful and our face reflects
    a smile.

    A study developed by
    German psychologists from the University of Nijmegen, attempted to dig
    deeply into the reasons why we tend to unconsciously imitate
    the gestures of others. To do this, 62 participants were shown one
    series of photos of human faces. Each image could only be observed for one
    tenth of a second. After observing each of the
    pictures, participants had to hold a button to indicate whether the face
    showed a positive or negative emotion. However, half of the participants
    he had to avoid facial expressions through a little trick, tighten the
    teeth (as this makes it difficult for us to imitate). The other one
    half simply had to control the movement of their shoulders (something
    which would have made it easier for him to express facial expressions). Researchers
    they simply measured how fast each person's response had been
    participant. So they found that women who
    they were free to imitate facial expressions they were much quicker than
    men in recognizing emotions. On the contrary, in the group he could not
    realize the facial expressions, the men did not manifest a
    particular slowdown but women do. These findings come to
    confirm other studies in which it was already hypothesized that our brain has
    a kind of "direct access" to process emotions. This quick way
    it would simply consist in imitating what the other is feeling, in a way
    such that our brain quickly becomes aware of this information
    that we are reflecting it on ourselves. In fact, some research has
    proved that when we see a person suffering and imitate the expressions
    of suffering, those areas are activated immediately in our brain
    related to pain processing. Women would use with
    more frequent this direct access than men, reason for the
    which the speed in recognizing emotions is not conditioned in the
    men when you "cut" or prevent the use of this direct access.
    Of course, these findings also corroborate the idea that women are more
    sensitive than men (although it would be more correct to say that
    respond sensitively with greater speed) and show a level of
    much greater empathy.
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