Brain activity when reading sentences and emoticons: an fMRI study of verbal and nonverbal communication



In this paper, we describe a person's brain activity when he or she sees an emoticon at the end of a sentence. An emoticon consists of some characters that resemble the human face and expresses the sender's emotions. With the help of a computer network, we use e-mail, messaging, avatars, and so on, in order to communicate with a recipient. Moreover, we send an emotional expression by using an emoticon at the end of a sentence. In this research, we investigate the effect of an emoticon as nonverbal information, using an fMRI study. The experimental results show that the right and left inferior frontal gyrus were activated and we detect a sentence with an emoticon as the verbal and nonverbal information. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Electron Comm Jpn, 94(5): 17–24, 2011; Published online in Wiley Online Library ( DOI 10.1002/ecj.10311