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The facial muscles are like elastic sheets that are stretched in layers over the cranium, facial bones, the openings they form, and the cartilage, fat, and other tissues of the head. These are the muscles of facial expression, acting singly and in combination. The diagram below shows a simplified view of how the facial muscles are actually arranged. It has a cut-away view of some of the muscles on the right side of the image to show the layers. Move the mouse cursor over the diagram of facial muscles below and click on a facial muscle of interest to see more information. Most of the muscles have a short video that illustrates the appearances that are produced when the muscle acts. Innervation and blood supply are also indicated. (MPEG 1 plugin is needed to view the videos.) For more detailed depictions of facial anatomy, see the Anatomy pages.

diagram of facial musclesOuter frontalis (cutaway)ProcerusDepressor supercilliCorrugatorOrbicularis oculi, palprebral partNasalisLevator anguli oris (cut away)Levator anguli oris (caninus)Zygomatic minorOrbicularis oculi, orbital part (cut away)Zygomatic minor (cut away)Zygomatic majorZygomatic major (cut away)MasseterRisoriusTriangularisDepressor labiiMentalisOuter frontalis Inner frontalisOrbicularis orisLevator labii, (cutaway)Levator labii superiorisOrbicularis oculi, orbital partBuccinatorPlatysma & Neck musclesDepressor septiilevator labii, alequae nasi (cutaway)levator labii superioris, alequae nasiTriangularis (cutaway)Depressor labii (cutaway)Platysma (cut away)Orbicularis oculii, palprebral part
Facial Muscles Not Illustrated Above:
If you cannot use the image map above to view the facial muscles, use the text navigators above and below to view the examples of the actions of facial muscles:

[inner/outer frontalis] [corrugator] [procerus] [depressor supercilli] [inner/outer orbicularis oculi] [nasalis] [depressor_septi] [levator_labii] [buccinator] [caninus] [risorius] [zygomatic_major] [zygomatic_minor] [depressor_labii] [orbicularis_oris] [masseter] [triangularis] [mentalis] [platysma]

NOTE: Apple Computer's free QuickTime® Viewer is a good player for the videos of actions of facial muscles.

image copyright © 2000 A Human Face

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