The language of smiles

I just read an article about smiles. Two points that stood out for me:

- Study subject who were shown brief flash of a smiling face - for just four milliseconds, which is so fast that viewers won't consciously register it - they experience a mini emotional high. Afterward, boring material is more interesting, neutral images look more positive, and even bland drinks taste better.

- Different cultures might look at different parts of the face to gauge mood. Americans look at the mouth to discern emotions; the Japanese look at the eyes.

In the US, the emoticon for happy is: :)
In Japan, the emoticon for happy is: (^_^)

In the US, the emoticon for sad is: :(
In Japan, the emoticon for sad is (;_;)



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THAT is fascinating about the emoticons! I had no idea. *ponders*
I remember a study where the filmed autistic people watching a fight in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf. Average viewers watched their faces. Autistic viewers looked at everything but faces.
I use (^_^) all the time! (But then again I’m Japanese-American and a big anime fan.)
I've seen that, but (;_;) doesn't look at all familiar.

It’s because I’m hardly ever sad or crying! (^_^)

Besides smiling, the others that I use most frequently are winking (^_~) and incredulous (o.O) or (o_O)

Here are some Japanese Emoticons.
I really liked the incredulous one the first time I saw it. Like a new word, I figured it out by context.