Study: Your Mood Determines Whether Or Not Mona Lisa Is Smiling

Gabrielle Okun | Reporter

Your mood can determine whether or not Leonardo Da Vinci’s famous Mona Lisa is smiling, researchers from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) discovered.

Through studying visual perceptions and neurology regarding the painting, researchers might have finally ended the debate on whether or not the Mona Lisa is smiling, the Daily Mail reported Thursday.

The UCSD researchers based their findings on the relationship between dominant eye and passive eye. Dominant eye determines what a person sees consciously. Therefore, what people see out of their passive eye is determined by the dominant eye. However, seeing out of the passive eye might still affect what people see subconsciously.

The study used 43 people to determine the results. The subjects saw two flashing images, the dominant eye only saw pictures of neutral expressions. The passive eye saw neutral, grimacing, or smiling images. Scientists discovered that after subjects saw a smiling photo, they perceived the neutral painting out of their dominant eye as smiling. Scientists discovered the same results when people saw grimacing and neutral photos out of their passive eye.

“If you see the Mona Lisa after you have just had a screaming fight with your husband, you’re going to see [the painting] differently,” said Dr. Siegel, a UCSD psychology fellow and author of the study.

 The Mona Lisa painting is said to be of Lisa Gherardini from the 16th century, according to Smithsonian.org. The famous painting is held at the Louvre museum in Paris.

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