Duchenne smile (or COPY #6)

Duchenne Farinella Neurocomic

Here is a little illustration inspired by the latest Neurocomic talk at The Cube London. Our guest speaker Philip Loring, curator of Psychology at the Science Museum, guided us through the fascinating history of electrotherapy with a series of paintings, concluding with The Nerves Of The Army by CRW Nevinson.

CRW Nevinson Nerves Army
CRW Nevinson (1918) Nerves of the Army,
Oil on canvas, 88.9 x 54 cm (c) Imperial War Museums

So I think this also counts as my monthly copy, although heavily modified to omage Dr. Duchenne de Bolougne, one of the fathers of modern neurology and great practitioner of electrotherapy himself, which he employed to study the “physiology of emotions”. His pionering photographs were later used for the illustrations in Darwin’s book The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals.

Figure 20 from Charles Darwin's The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals (1872). Caption reads "FIG. 20.—Terror, from a photograph by Dr. Duchenne"
Figure 20 from Charles Darwin’s The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals (1872). Caption reads “FIG. 20.—Terror, from a photograph by Dr. Duchenne”

Also, did you know that Duchenne ‘determined that smiles resulting from true happiness not only utilize the muscles of the mouth but also those of the eyes. Such “genuine” smiles are known as Duchenne smiles in his honor’ ?

This is why I love Wikipedia.

Finally, if this electric medley of science-art and history is not enough for your voracious brains, I strongly recommend the recent article Can you supercharge your brain? on Mosaic Science, reporting the current applications of transcranial direct-current stimulation (tDCS) in military training. Some crazy story…

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