Is Mona Lisa smiling? Depends on how you feel: study

Xinhua
Scientists have discovered the secret of the mysterious expression of the Mona Lisa: Whether she is smiling at you depends on how you feel, the Guardian reported.
Xinhua
Imaginechina

Visitors talk in front of a replica of the masterpiece "Mona Lisa" at the 13th China (Shenzhen) International Cultural Industries Fair in Shenzhen on May 11, 2017.

Scientists have discovered the secret of the mysterious expression of the Mona Lisa: Whether she is smiling at you depends on how you feel, the Guardian reported.

The famed Leonardo Da Vinci masterpiece, installed in the Louvre Museum in Paris in 1804, has charmed art lovers for centuries with its seemingly changing face.

A new research from the University of California in San Francisco has found that people experience faces differently based on their own feelings.

The team thinks that how we perceive a new face, as happy, sad, or neutral, is largely decided by the feelings we are carrying around when we greet it rather than the expression on that particular face.

This means if we subconsciously experience a smiling face, we are more likely to regard a neutral face as happy.

"We are the architects of our own experience. Our brain makes predictions about what it expects to see and uses information from the world to update its expectations," Dr. Erika Siegel was quoted by the Guardian as saying.

Analysis for Mona Lisa's expression has been going on for years. In 2005, scientists in Amsterdam found that her expression is 83 percent happy, 9 percent disgusted, 6 percent fearful and 2 percent each angry and happy, after putting the face through emotion-recognition software.  

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