Facial Action Coding System

During my time on campus I studied the Facial Action Coding System. The Facial Action Coding System involves a series of action units that each code for a specific facial muscle movement. Over the Spring 2015 semester I was in a lab group that discussed FACS and practiced coding videos together. For the first few days of my time on campus I reviewed these videos and Powerpoint presentations in order to brush up on my coding skills. I also went into Dr. Schug’s lab to review the FACS Manual written by Dr. Paul Ekman, a major founder of the study of micro expressions.  The Manual contains descriptions of each individual action unit. Each description includes specific movements that occur on the face when that unit is exemplified, such as deepening of the nasolabial furrow or narrowing of the eye aperture. The descriptions for each action unit are broken down into different intensities ranging from A to E with A being the least intense and E being the most intense. When coding a facial movement the action unit consists of its assigned number as well as a letter to describe its intensity e.g. 12B. A facial movement can be designated as a single action unit but is most often a combination of multiple action units at a given time.