The Science of Optimism


Forget getting dolled up or putting on your favorite tie — a smile might really be the best accessory. The region of the brain that is activated when viewing attractive faces, the orbitofrontal cortex, may light up when it sees a smile. Past research found that the activity in this region of the brain was stronger when it registered smiling faces than when it saw an expression other than a smile. Another study of men and women at bars found that men were more likely to approach women who smiled at them. The men in this study were also more likely to view these women favorably.

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Review Date: 
April 15, 2015

Last Updated:
April 15, 2015