Open main menu

Facial expression

motions or positions of subcutaneous human face muscles, conveying emotional state
(Redirected from Express)

Facial expression is the combination of motions or positions of the muscles in the skin that conveys the emotional state of the individual to observers. Facial expressions are a form of nonverbal communication.


The young and the old of widely different races, both with man and animals, express the same state of mind by the same movements. ~ Charles Darwin
Through the principle of associated habit, the same movements of the face and eyes are practised, and can, indeed, hardly be avoided, whenever we know or believe that others are blaming, or too strongly praising, our moral conduct. ~ Charles Darwin
A nervous tic, an unconscious look of anxiety, a habit of muttering to yourself—anything that carried with it the suggestion of abnormality, of having something to hide. In any case, to wear an improper expression on your face (to look incredulous when a victory was announced, for example) was itself a punishable offence. There was even a word for it in Newspeak: FACECRIME, it was called. ~ George Orwell
  • Previous studies have shown that exposure to traumatic events that put one’s life at risk may affect processing of facial expressions. Thus, for example, individuals suffering from PTSD have difficulties in differentiating between fearful and neutral faces (e.g., Felmingham, Bryant, & Gordon, 2003). Developmental studies have found that neglected or maltreated children demonstrate heightened sensitivity to anger and fearful expressions, while displaying difficulties in perceiving other expressions such as sadness and disgust (Masten et al., 2008; Pollak, Cicchetti, Hornung, & Reed, 2000; Pollak & Tolley-Schell, 2003). A recent study, which assessed the long-lasting impact of a terrorist attack, found that children who were held as hostages at the Russian town of Beslan on September 2004 by Chechen rebels were more accurate than nonexposed children in detecting threat related information such as anger in faces, which were morphed from two prototypical emotions (Scrimin, Moscardino, Capello, Altoe, & Axia, 2009; Scrimin, Moscardino, Capello, & Axia, 2008). In military veterans, however, the long-term consequences of life threatening experience on the perception of facial expressions have not been explored before, to the best of our knowledge.
  • Results from the current study suggest that behavioral avoidance to certain emotional expressions, particularly negative emotional expressions, may increase delays in identifying those same emotional expressions, which may jointly serve to increase risk for adult sexual revictimization. This interaction appears to be more influential than overall accuracy in identifying facial expressions in predicting risk for adult sexual revictimization.
  • "We know this to be a primary autonomic response, the so called 'shame' or 'blushing' reaction to a morally shocking stimulus. It can't be controlled voluntarily, as can skin conductivity, respiration, and cardiac rate." He showed her the other instrument, a pencil-beam light. "This records fluctuations of tension within the eye muscles. Simultaneous with the blush phenomenon there generally can be found a small but detectable movement of...
"And these can't be found in androids," Rachael said.
"They're not engendered by the stimuli-questions; no. Although biologically they exist. Potentially."
  • As an adult, you may be more sensitive to some emotions than to others. What you learned about reading emotions in your own family might have great applicability to understanding others or relatively little, at least for some emotions. Through watching television, or movies, or a close friend, you may have improved upon and added to your knowledge of facial expressions. Although almost everyone correctly reads some facial expressions, few people realize when they make mistakes or why they make them.
    The rules for translating a particular set of facial wrinkles into the judgement that a person is angry, afraid, etc. would be very hard for most people to describe. When you follow these rules you do so automatically, on the basis of habits established long so long ago that usually you don’t know how they operate, or even when they operate. In this sense, understanding facial expressions of emotion is like driving a car. You don’t think about what you are doing when you do it. Unlike driving a car, with facial expression there never was an earlier period in which you were specifically taught the skills. There is no manual in which you can check how to correct mistakes. There are no equivalents to the traffic cop telling you when you missed or misinterpreted a signal.
    • Paul Ekman, Wallace V. Friesen, Unmasking the Face, Cambridge MA, (2003), p. 8.
  • Sometimes you are puzzled by someone’s facial expression; you can’t figure out what he meant. Or you can figure out what he meant by the look on his face, but you can’t decide whether or not to trust it. It is hard to check impressions with others, because there just isn’t much of a vocabulary for describing the face itself. There are a lot of words for the messages you get from the face (afraid, terrified, horrified, apprehensive, worried, to mention a few of those related to fear), but few to describe the source of those messages. We do have the terms smile, grin, frown, squint, but there are relatively few that identify particular facial configurations, distinctive wrinkle patterns, or temporary shapes of the facial features. Without terms to refer to the face, we are handicapped in comparing or correcting our interpretations of facial expression.
  • At best, it is not easy to describe facial expression. Pictures are needed, because it is a visual phenomenon.
    • Paul Ekman, Wallace V. Friesen, Unmasking the Face, Cambridge MA, (2003), p. 8-9.
  • Adrian Veidt: I've known John long enough to see he isn't devoid of emotion. His subtle facial twitches wouldn't have been noticed by the layman but to me, he might as well have been sobbing.
  • That is the great thing about our movement--that these members are uniform not only in ideas, but even, the facial expression is almost the same!
  • There yet appeared some touch of their delicate lineaments, preserving the sweetness of proportion, and expressing itself beyond expression.
  • A nervous tic, an unconscious look of anxiety, a habit of muttering to yourself—anything that carried with it the suggestion of abnormality, of having something to hide. In any case, to wear an improper expression on your face (to look incredulous when a victory was announced, for example) was itself a punishable offence. There was even a word for it in Newspeak: FACECRIME, it was called.
  • In summary, our results showed no sex differences in the rapid detection of emotional compared with emotionally neutral expressions. However, we did observe sex differences in the subjective ratings of facial stimuli and the relationship between ratings and RTs. Females reported a stronger qualitative response to the emotional facial expressions of others than did males. Furthermore, emotional arousal enhanced the detection of facial expressions more strongly in females than in males, whereas negative feelings facilitated the detection of facial expressions more clearly in males than in females. These findings suggest females and males differ in their subjective emotional reactions to facial expressions and that this difference leads to subsequent differences in the ways in which emotion modulates the detection of emotional facial expressions.
  • Patience and sorrow strove
    Who should express her goodliest. You have seen
    Sunshine and rain at once: her smile and tears
    Were like a better way.
  • Patients with schizophrenia demonstrate abnormalities in early visual encoding of facial features that precedes the ERP response typically associated with facial affect recognition. This suggests that affect recognition deficits, at least for happy and sad discrimination, are secondary to faulty structural encoding of faces. The association of abnormal face encoding with delusions may denote the physiological basis for clinical misidentification syndromes.
  • Impaired emotional functioning is a core feature of schizophrenia described by Eugen Bleuler (1911)nearly 100 years ago. Emotional abnormalities in schizophrenia are now receiving more attention by clinicians and investigators and include a variety of symptoms such as flat or constricted affect, inappropriate affect, and depression (Kohler et al., 2000a). In addition to negative symptoms' influence on the experience and expression of emotions, there is evidence that schizophrenia patients are impaired in recognizing and discriminating facial emotions (Morrison et al., 1988; Mandal et al., 1998; Edwards et al., 2001; Kohler et al., 2003). It is unclear whether emotion recognition deficits represent a specific or generalized form of cognitive impairment in schizophrenia (Kerr and Neale, 1993; Whittaker et al., 2001), yet recent studies show that emotion processing deficits are uniquely related to clinical symptoms (Kohler et al., 2000b; Silver et al., 2002; Sachs et al., 2004).

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit

Wikipedia has an article about: