You might want to file this in the “what the…” folder. Artificial intelligence (AI) is used for a myriad projects and applications, but this just might be the strangest thing I have seen yet. Nature brought this news to us in their article, “Artificial intelligence decodes the facial expressions of mice.

Researchers are using a machine learning algorithm to decipher the facial expressions of laboratory mice. What possibly for, you might ask? Apparently, the work could have implications for pinpointing neurons in the human brain that encode particular expressions.

This is a first step in understanding some of the mysterious aspects of emotions and how they manifest in the brain.

Machine learning algorithms recognize distinct expressions, created by the movement of particular groups of facial muscles. These expressions correlated with the evoked emotional states, such as pleasure, disgust or fear. The scientists then searched for brain cells that might encode these emotions in the brain using a technique called optogenetics.

Melody K. Smith

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