Scientists embark on study monitoring children watching Wallace and Gromit

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Scientists are hoping to learn more about how children respond to facial expressions by monitoring their reactions to Wallace and Gromit.

“Gromit [the dog] is non-speaking yet young children engage with him strongly,” said Professor Graham Collingridge, of the university’s neuroscience department. “So the facial expressions he uses must link to some very basic communication. When he’s sitting there rolling his eyes, you know that he’s disapproving of [his owner] Wallace, without saying anything.” In fact, Gromit has no mouth – which would seem to limit his range of expression even further. Gromit expresses himself purely through the movement of his eyes, eyebrows and ears.

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The fruits of the partnership might come in time to shape the studio’s next big film in October next year, starring Wallace and Gromit. So far it has been four years in the making. “We’ve got 30 minutes of it in the can so far,” said Arthur English, a spokesman for Aardman, explaining why the company is talking to the scientists.

Woo! News about the film.

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