The genetic foundation of emotional expression has been considered ever since Charles Darwin’s initial publication in 1872 about emotional expressions in humans and animals. Until recently, however, this concept did not have a solid scientific foundation.
Now, however, researchers from Haifa University (Israel) analyzed mimic expressions in a young man who was blind from birth and in a few dozen of his relatives. Their observations were performed under controlled conditions and during spontaneous expressions
arising from carefully prepared surprised events. The most similar expressions observed between the blind subject and his relatives were for negative emotions.
“Expressions of emotions seem to be like a family’s signature,” said G. Peleg from the Institute of Evolution at Haifa University. The next step is to search for the particular genes responsible for emotional expressions.