Despite the burgeoning literature using facial electromyography (EMG) to study cognitive and emotional processes, the psychometric properties of facial EMG measurement have received little attention. Two experiments were conducted to assess the reliability and validity of facial EMG as a measure of specific facial actions. In Experiment 1, two recording sites in the brow region were compared for their ability to differentiate facial actions hypothesized to be due to the activation of the corrugator supercilii from facial actions presumed to be due to the activation of proximate muscles (e.g. depressor supercilii, procerus, frontalis, levator labii superioris alaeque nasi, orbicularis oculi), and four sites in the infraorbital triangle were compared for their ability to differentiate facial actions hypothesized to be due to the activation of the zygomaticus major from facial actions presumed to be due the activation of proximate muscles (e.g. zygomaticus minor, risorius, buccinator, orbicularis oculi, orbicularis oris). Fifteen subjects were instructed to pose a series of facial actions while EMG activity was sampled simultaneously at all sites. In Experiment 2, 5 subjects returned to the laboratory for a more extensive investigation of surface EMG activity over the zygomaticus major muscle region. The results of this experiment confirmed the findings of Experiment 1. Overall, the results demonstrate that certain recording sites located over specific facial muscle regions are more sensitive and valid indices of particular facial actions than other nearby sites.
- Facial Muscles
- Signal Processing, Computer-Assisted