The secret behind Mona Lisa's enigmatic smike

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The secret behind Mona Lisa's enigmatic smile has been explained by scientists who believe it changes depending on which part of the eye sees it first.

One of the charms of the world's most famous painting is that she appears radiant one moment and then serious and sardonic the next.

Now scientists claim to have come up with an answer to her changing moods - our eyes are sending mixed signals to the brain.

They believe Mona Lisa's smile depends on what cells in the retina pick up the image and what channel the image is transmitted through in the brain.

Sometimes one channel wins over the other, and you see the smile, sometimes others take over and you do not see the smile...

... So did Leonardo intend to sow so much confusion in the brains of viewers, not to mention scientists? Absolutely, Martinez Otero contends. "He wrote in one of his notebooks that he was trying to paint dynamic expressions because that's what he saw in the street."

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