Yesterday in Las Vegas, Nevada - presumed 2016 U.S. Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton had a shoe thrown at here while on stage giving a speech. Much (but not all) of what is seen in the immediacy of this rapid event is NOT body language - it is however a good example of a "Startle Reflex".
Just after 250 milliseconds after the shoe passes to her right and then in back of her, Ms. Clinton's eyelids close tightly and she begins to flex her neck forward in a posture of protection.
The former Secretary of State's upper arms retract closer to her torso, her elbows pull inwards as her lower arms and hands pull in close to the front of her upper abdomen and chest.
Note how Ms. Clinton's neck is foreshortened (think of a turtle retracting its head and neck in its shell). Her shoulders elevate and her neck flexes further protect the vital tissue of the neck.
In this view we cannot see her ankles, knees, hips and back - they all flex towards a truncated and very evanescent fetal position.
Despite the fact that she recovers from the incident nicely and pushes out a social smile shortly after this frame - in this view we can see Hillary display a very brief "Mouth of Fear". This is a true nonverbal expression (microexpression).
If we could see her neck we would see a characteristic neck of fear with the tightening of the platysma and sternocleidomastoid muscles.
Very intriguingly - immediately after a loud startling noise, human beings almost always looks TOWARDS the noise in a reflexive effort to rapidly assess the situation (here where the shoe landed). This is part of the startle reflex.
Those who don't immediately look towards the sound have a very significant likelihood of having foreknowledge - and this phenomenon should be taken into account when evaluating for suspects after a bombing or similar event.
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