When we first broached the Great Smiley Debate a few weeks ago, the question was whether or not a dash-as-nose was appropriate, necessary, or a bastardization of the simple purity of two dots paired with a gentle curve. But a new, equally contentious controversy emerged in the Kinja discussion: Should the parenthesis open towards the left or the right? Whichever configuration you supported, it ultimately seemed like a question of personal preference. There are no right or wrong answers when it comes to communicating through cheeky punctuation marks. Right? Wrong! A study in Social Neuroscience posits that, since they were introduced two decades ago, emoticons have begun to actually reshape our brains—but only some emoticons. By way of background: When a human views another human’s face—even if it’s upside-down—a particular part of the brain is activated.
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"Study: Our Brains Now Process Emoticons as Faces" by @ShellyPalmer