The topography of the facial muscles differs between males and females and among individuals of the same gender. To explain the unique expressions that people can make, it is important to define the shapes of the muscle, their associations with the skin, and their relative functions. Three-dimensional (3D) motion-capture analysis, often used to study facial expression, was used in this study to identify characteristic skin movements in males and females when they made six representative basic expressions. The movements of 44 reflective markers (RMs) positioned on anatomical landmarks were measured. Their mean displacement was large in males [ranging from 14.31 mm (fear) to 41.15 mm (anger)], and 3.35-4.76 mm smaller in females [ranging from 9.55 mm (fear) to 37.80 mm (anger)]. The percentages of RMs involved in the ten highest mean maximum displacement values in making at least one expression were 47.6% in males and 61.9% in females. The movements of the RMs were larger in males than females but were more limited. Expanding our understanding of facial expression requires morphological studies of facial muscles and studies of related complex functionality. Conducting these together with quantitative analyses, as in the present study, will yield data valuable for medicine, dentistry, and engineering, for example, for surgical operations on facial regions, software for predicting changes in facial features and expressions after corrective surgery, and the development of face-mimicking robots.
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