Everyone appreciates a good smile. A smile conveys happiness and optimism, and seeing a smile causes our brain to release feel-good reward signals.
Humans are the only animals who grin to express happiness, with several species of primates and apes making exceptions.
However, scientists from Queen Mary University of London have found that goats appear to comprehend what a happy human expression entails.
The researchers have discovered that goats can distinguish between happy and negative facial expressions and can accurately read human facial expressions.
The researchers went to a refuge for goats and exhibited two photographs to the goats at once. A pleased expression could be seen in one image, while anger could be seen in the other.
In a tiny arena, the images were affixed to a wall 1,3 meters apart. The goats were then permitted to engage with the images after being let into the arena.
The happy face was clearly preferred by the goats, as seen by the fact that they were more inclined to approach it first, interact with it for a longer period of time, and do so more frequently.
This demonstrated to the researchers that goats can interpret human facial expressions and that they favor interacting with happy people.
It’s interesting to note that the goats only preferred the smiling face when it was displayed on the right-hand side. The goats were unperturbed by either image when placed to the left.
According to study, this is because of how goats’ brains work, which is thought to involve processing pleasant emotions in the left hemisphere and negative emotions in the right.
Whatever the case, the study amply shown that goats are capable of differentiating between human expressions.
It turns out that goats are more intelligent than we believe and are capable of understanding our emotions.
Fortunately, goats tend to make people grin because they are so adorable!