Health Advice



Those Lyin' Eyes

Scott LaFee on

The Eagles may have been singing about something else, but new research suggests that eyes are not necessarily true windows to the soul -- or, more precisely, how another person is feeling.

It's a common notion that "smiling eyes" that involve uplifted cheeks and crinkles around the eyes indicate genuine happiness. They even have a technical name: "Duchenne smiles," after the French anatomist who studied emotional expression.

But Carnegie Mellon University researchers say smiley eyes are not necessarily an indicator of smile intensity. They enlisted volunteers to have their facial expressions recorded as they did tasks designed to elicit various emotions, even pain. After, they were asked to rate how strongly they felt these emotions at the time.

While Duchenne smiles made up 90% of smiles that occurred when positive emotions were reported, they also made up 80% of smiles when no positive emotion was reported.

Body of Knowledge

When you sweat, small amounts of the stress hormone cortisol may be released. Researchers now say they might be able to objectively assess stress levels by having folks use a wearable sensor attached to the skin that monitors and measures cortisol levels.


Get Me That, Stat!

A new study in the Tourism Analysis journal reports that frequent travelers are happier with their lives than people who don't travel at all. In fact, they're exactly 7% happier.

The finding was based on a survey of 500 respondents by the School of Hospitality and Business Management at Washington State University. "Travel" was counted as any time people ventured at least 75 miles from their home.

Doc Talk


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