Representations of facial expressions since Darwin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Darwin’s book on expressions of emotion was one of the first publications to include photographs (Darwin, 1872). The inclusion of expression photographs meant that readers could form their own opinions and could, like Darwin, survey others for their interpretations. As such, the images provided an evidence base and an ‘open source’. Since Darwin, increases in representativeness and realism of emotional expressions come from the use of composite images, colour, multiple views and dynamic displays. Research on understanding emotional expressions has been aided by the use of computer graphics to interpolate parametrically between different expressions and to extrapolate exaggerations. This review tracks the developments in how emotions are illustrated and studied and considers where to go next.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere22
Number of pages16
JournalEvolutionary Human Sciences
Early online date28 Apr 2022
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Expression
  • Face
  • Representation


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