Fluctuating asymmetry of dynamic smiles in normal individuals

Balvinder Khambay, C. J. Lowney, T-C Hsung, D. O. Morris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

201 Downloads (Pure)


The aim of this study was to quantify the fluctuating dynamic facial asymmetry during smiling in a group of ‘normal’ adults, using three-dimensional (3D) motion facial capture technology. Fifty-four male and 54 female volunteers were recruited. Each subject was imaged using a passive markerless 3D motion capture system (DI4D). Eighteen landmarks were tracked through the 3D capture sequence. A facial asymmetry score was calculated based on either a clinically derived midline or Procrustes alignment; scores were based on the Euclidean distance between landmark pairs. Facial asymmetry scores were determined at three time points: rest, median, and maximum frame. Based on the clinically derived midline and on Procrustes alignment, the differences between male and female volunteers, as well as those at the three different time points, were not clinically significant. However, throughout a smile, facial and lip asymmetry scores increased over the duration of the smile. Fluctuating facial asymmetry exists within individuals, as well as between individuals. Procrustes superimposition and the clinically derived midline produced similar asymmetry scores and both are valid for symmetrical faces. However, with facial asymmetry, Procrustes superimposition may not be a valid measure, and the use of the clinically derived midline may be more appropriate, although this requires further investigation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1372-1379
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Issue number10
Early online date30 Mar 2019
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019


  • stereophotogrammetry
  • dynami
  • 3D motion capture
  • normal
  • 4D
  • adult
  • fluctuating asymmetry
  • procrustes


Dive into the research topics of 'Fluctuating asymmetry of dynamic smiles in normal individuals'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this