Sunday, 26 February 2012

Facial Expression Research

Facial Expression Categories:
Sadness and agony
Surprise and Fear
Disgust and Contempt
Sadness and Agony

Sadness often invokes similar feelings to crying. It is rarely performed as an act of voluntary so this makes it difficult to mimic. It can often be easy to identify when a person is faking it. It usually consists of conflicting actions.
Recognising signs of Sadness

·         Corner of lips are often pulled down
·         Cheeks raised, pail colours
·         Possibly dropped jaw (if vocal)
·         Upper eyelids drop
·         Inner corners of eyebrows raised and brought together
·         Eyebrows frown

Unlike sadness it can easily be mimicked. It is often found that anger is combined with sadness. Anger often uses the same facial expressions as sadness but in a different way. The eyes are a sign at who the anger is often being aimed at and colours to the face are more than likely to become very red.

Recognising Anger
·         Jaw tightly clenched
·         If teeth exposed, mouth has rectangular shape
·         Thinning of lips
·         Lower jaw can be forward

Eyes and Cheeks

·         Redness to the cheeks
·         Blood shot eyes
·         Raised upper eyelids
·         Possibly tensed lower eye lids
·         Eyebrows lowered and brought together

Surprise and Fear

Out of all of the emotions fear has been studied more than any other emotion. It is often hard to distinguish surprise and fear as each individual is different. Dependant on the occasion that has caused the fear or suprise it can vary. Surprise is a temporary expression, which often converts into another form of expression. This could be anger, happiness or sadness.

Recognising Surprise and Fear

·         Upper eyelids raised as high as possible
·         Tensed lower eyelids
·         Eyebrows raised and slightly closer together
·         Eyes staring straight ahead

·         Lips stretched horizontally
·         Possibly dropped jaw

Disgust and Contempt

Subtly different from anger and it is rarely seen and often not photographed unlike the other emotions. It is often triggered when an individual has seen something strange, lost a loved one or suffered some form of misfortune.

Recognising Disgust and Contempt

·         Active muscles around the nose
·         Eyes can be relaxed comparatively to anger
·         Can even be limited to one side of the face
·         Feeling of imbalance
·         Lowered Eyebrows
·         Open eyes
·         Straight glare from the eyes
·         Paleness to the face


Happiness is often seen when something good has happened to somebody or they are showing signs of feeling good. Happiness is the most common emotion that is seen on a daily basis. It can show on somebodies face for a long period of time or just for a second.
Recognising Happiness
·         Lips curved upwards
·         Cheeks raised, maybe signs of redness
·         Relaxed muscles around the mouth

·         Eyebrows raised up
·         Brighter eyes
·         Eyes become fixed on something or someone

Facial Exressions and Muscle Movements

In this image the main change in facial movements are those that are close to the centre of the eyebrows and lips. It is here; in these locations were the main muscle movements are to create the anger facial expression. The lips become tighter together and the eyebrows narrow and frown in the centre.
In this image the main changes in facial movements are those that are centred on the nose area. This area of skins becomes much tighter and narrower. The eyes become smaller and the centre of the face becomes scrunched up. More of the lips can be seen. There are more facial movements in this expression when compared to the anger expression.
The main changes in facial expressions, in this image of fear, are the widening of the mouth. The mouth becomes wider but the teeth remain closer together, in a grinding state. The eyes are slightly wider and the centre of the eyebrow area has become tighter and narrower. The nose area and cheek remain relaxed.


This is the facial expression with the most amounts of muscle movements. All areas of the face have had dramatic change in muscle movements. The eyes have become narrower but also the surrounding area has become higher. The area around the mouth has become larger and more outward. Her mouth has increased in size but her teeth still together. When a smile happens it is very common for the surrounding area to tighten and the cheeks to rise. The nose remains in a natural position, little muscle change the but main changes are the mouth and cheeks.


The muscle changes seen in this facial expression can mainly be seen around the mouth area and forehead. There are little changes as the face remains in a very neutral state. The lips remain close together while the cheeks have dropped. None of the inside of the mouth can be seen. The fore head becomes tighter and the centre narrows.


One of the facial expressions with the most muscle changes. The entire face has become much longer. The mouth is fully opened and the area around the eyes have widened dramatically. From the bottom of the nose the south part has dropped lower while the upper part of the face has risen. In most areas the skin has tightened, there will be noticeable wrinkles of skin on the forehead.

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