From :-D to =8-0 – Effects of Emoticons on the Brain

An unusual study reports the effects of emoticons on human brain activity: Neural correlates of text-based emoticons

South Korean neuroscientists Ko Woon Kim et al. used fMRI to record brain activation in 18 volunteers who were shown various expressive text symbols, in both the Asian ‘vertical’ and Western ‘horizontal’ styles:

However, it turned out that the brain doesn’t really respond to emoticons at all: there was no significant difference in the brain response to the real emoticons

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