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There was a study of masked faces and snakes published in 2009 that shows the same effect on our amygdala when we see a masked face as if we see snakes. Proper socialization relies on facial expressions to reduce violent conflicts across society. The largest difference in the evolution of brains sizes in primates has been in the prefrontal cortex and the amygdala, humans the most developed to recognize facial cues. Along with more facial muscles used solely as visual signals, expressions than the rest of the primates. An evolutionary advantage for the species to preserve itself:


"The prefrontal link is important because it allows inhibitory modulation of the amygdala, thus promoting strategic cognitive control of the expression of fear"


"The prefrontal influence on facial as well as other channels of emotional expression helps to maintain conflicts at a symbolic level, where the relative strength of the combatants can be evaluated from more or less convincing displays of power and submissiveness, which prevents escalating the conflict into an actual fight that might result in injuries to the participants.


A substantial part of the signaling action in conflicts between individuals centers on the faces of the parties measuring their relative strength. As recognized by Darwin, the design of the face suggests that it has evolved as a means of communication. The facial muscles are unique in their function by primarily moving dermal tissue rather than body limbs, producing coordinated changes in the visual appearance of the face. The basic human facial displays are similar to those of other primates, but the human face has a more complex musculature than that of other primates, with a more versatile neural innervation, suggesting that the human ability to communicate by the face is better developed than that of our primate relatives"

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