An anonymous reader sends in a BBC report on new research out of Glasgow University, which detected differences in how facial expressions are read
between Westerners and East Asians. Using eye tracking, the researchers determined that "people from different cultural groups observe different parts of the face when interpreting expression. East Asians participants tended to focus on the eyes of the other person, while Western subjects took in the whole face, including the eyes and the mouth." Interestingly, the researchers point out that the emoticons used online by the two groups reflect this difference.