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Books, Journals, New Media
August 5, 1998

The FaceAbout Face

Author Affiliations

Harriet S.MeyerMD, Contributing EditorJonathan D.EldredgeMLS, PhD, Journal Review EditorRobertHoganMD, adviser for new media


Not Available


by Jonathan Cole, 223 pp, with illus, $25, ISBN 0-262-03246-5, Cambridge, Mass, The MIT Press, 1998.

JAMA. 1998;280(5):480. doi:10.1001/jama.280.5.480-JBK0805-2-1

About Face is an explication of the importance of facial movement in conveying and developing emotion and communication among human beings. The author combines a comprehensive review of the science of facial movement with the inner experience of patients who suffer loss of facial movement.

The response of individuals to loss of facial movements constitutes the book's core. This humanizes the book and ties it to the older neurologic literature, in which disease symptoms were often shown to express the person (eg, Parker's Clinical Studies in Neurology). More recently, Oliver Sacks in his popular works has bridged the two cultures of the science of medicine (generalizing) and the art of medicine (individualizing), and it is thus appropriate that this book is dedicated in part to Dr Sacks.

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