Sensitivity of a method for the analysis of facial mobility. I. Vector of displacement

Carroll Ann Trotman, Julian J. Faraway, Kirsten T. Silvester, Geoffrey M. Greenlee, Lysle E. Johnston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Citations (SciVal)


Objective: (1) To determine which facial landmarks show the greatest movement during specific facial animations and (2) to determine the sensitivity of our instrument in using these landmarks to detect putatively abnormal facial movements. Design: Movements of an array of skin-based landmarks on five healthy human subjects (2 men and 3 women; mean age, 27.6 years; range, 26 to 29 years) were observed during the execution of specific facial animations. To investigate the Instrument sensitivity, we analyzed facial movements during maximal smile animations in six patients with different types of functional problems. In parallel, a panel was asked to view video recordings of the patients and to rate the degree of motor impairment. Comparisons were made between the panel scores and those of the measurement instrument. Results: Specific regions of the face display movement that is representative of specific animations. During the smile animation, landmarks on the mid- and lower facial regions demonstrated the greatest movement. A similar pattern of movement was seen during the cheek puff animation, except that the infraorbital and chin regions demonstrated minimal movement. For the grimace and eye closure animations, the upper, mid- facial, and upper-lip regions exhibited the greatest movement. During eye opening, the upper and mid-facial regions, excluding the upper lip and cheek, moved the most, and during lip purse, markers on the mid- and lower face demonstrated the most movement. We used the smile-sensitive landmarks to evaluate individuals with functional impairment and found good agreement between instrument rankings based on the data from these landmarks and the panel rankings. Conclusion: The present method of three-dimensional tracking has the potential to detect and characterize a range of clinically significant functional deficits.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)132-141
Number of pages10
JournalCleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 1998


  • Facial animation
  • Mahalanobis
  • Three-dimensional

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • General Dentistry


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