News FocusChimpanzee Research Today

Chimps Read Lips

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Science  02 Apr 2010:
Vol. 328, Issue 5974, pp. 32
DOI: 10.1126/science.328.5974.32-a

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Comparative psychologists at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center are trying to connect the puckered lips, raised eyebrows, and grins of chimpanzees with emotional states such as aggression, surprise, and lasciviousness. In the process, they have helped to develop an elaborate system that objectively classifies expressions and the muscles that are involved called the chimp Facial Action Coding System. The results suggest that chimps use the same regions of the brain to process faces as humans do—and these regions differ dramatically from the ones used by monkeys.