David Wilkins Studies Relationship Between Facial Emotions and Autism

Autism Ribbon for Awareness

Stanford researcher David Wilkins is interested in how facial emotions could be employed to help individuals with autism. He studies artists, actors and psychologists to find out how to train people to better recognize subtle emotional expressions. His careful dissections of portrait-drawing techniques, facial mimicry and emotional memory techniques, and the techniques of micro-expression and subtle expression recognition, have led the lecturer toward the fundamentals of human communication.

To Wilkins, who is a part of Stanford’s Symbolic Systems Program, distinguishes happiness, sadness, anger, surprise, fear, disgust and contempt as of the greatest significance to human communication. Autistic individuals are fifty percent less likely to distinguish the emotional indications of facial expression, which may adversely interrupt the individuals interpersonal interactions.

Wilkins and his team are designing experiments that they intend to benefit autism. By assessing the efficacy of┬áseveral different kinds of art, acting and psychological techniques, the scientists hope to discover one that results in a significant improvement in facial emotion recognition. Since people with autism are generally fifty percent less likely to recognize someone’s emotional state through their facial expressions, their successful participation in society depends on increasing their facial-emotional cognitive abilities.

Autism is noticeable in early childhood

A grant from the Stanford Institute for Creativity in the Arts and the Symbolic Systems Program in the School of Humanities and Sciences have made this all possible; with their help, hopefully Wilkins will achieve his noble cause.

Art Therapy is Helping Cancer Patients Feel Better

Art Therapy for the Elderly

Art goes beyond the mere act of rubbing color onto canvas, or scribbling words onto blank pages, it is a form of expression that provides a physical manifestation of emotional perspective. A recent concept erected onto this emotional foundation has some discovering that art can not only help people express their true feelings while dealing with personal problems, but that the very act of creativity can be literally be a healing process. The American Cancer Society supports the belief that art therapy can actually help cancer patients cope with their emotions.

Art therapists describe art therapy as a way for people to express hidden emotions by providing a sense of freedom in an environment that minimizes stress, fear and anxiety. Although the American Cancer Society admits that art therapy has not been scientifically proven to have therapeutic value for people with cancer, several clinicians have documented instances where participants reported significant benefits.

Art therapy at Barcs, Hungary

One patient explained that art therapy occupies the patient’s mind, allowing them to focus on something other than the physical agony and emotional conflicts that they may be encountering during their treatment. She said that art offers great insight for the therapist, who may consider different colors, mediums and proportion to help them paint a better picture of the patients.