The trend of using emojis is much bigger than the latest thing the youths are foisting on their crusty elders. It’s happening for deep neurological reasons, according to recent research, and can lead to better cooperation. In a just-published paper, researchers from Colombia describe how electrical activity in the brain indicates that we process emojis in the same areas of the brain where we process faces. The key is that emojis often include the most salient features for visually conveying human emotion—eyes, mouths, sometimes eyebrows. Emojis also make messaging more efficient by conveying the intent and context that’s otherwise missing from a message. (See also World Emoji Day)

You Should Be Using Emojis at Work

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