About Face

Paperback | February 18, 1999

byJonathan Cole

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What is special about the face, and what happens when neurological conditions make expression or comprehension of the face unavailable? Through a mix of science, autobiography, case studies, and speculation, Jonathan Cole shows the importance not only of facial expressions for communication among individuals but also of facial embodiment for our sense of self. He presents, in his words, "a natural history of the face and an unnatural history of those who live without it."

The heart of the book lies in the experiences of people with facial losses of various kinds. The case studies are of blind, autistic, and neurologically impaired persons; the most extreme case involves Mobius syndrome, in which individuals are born with a total inability to move their facial muscles and hence to make facial expressions. Cole suggests that it is only by studying such personal narratives of loss that we can understand facial function and something of what all our faces reflect.

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From Our Editors

This is a scientific investigation whose heart beats with stark, emotional stories. Jonathan Cole wrote About Face to find out how the face and facial expressions aid communication and form a sense of self. Cole provides a background for his findings in touching stories of loss, blindness, neurological impairment and most significantly...

From the Publisher

What is special about the face, and what happens when neurological conditions make expression or comprehension of the face unavailable? Through a mix of science, autobiography, case studies, and speculation, Jonathan Cole shows the importance not only of facial expressions for communication among individuals but also of facial embodime...

Jonathan Cole, D.M., F.R.C.P., is Consultant in Clinical Neurophysiology, Poole Hospital, and at Salisbury Hospital (with its Spinal Centre), a Professor at Bournemouth University and a visiting Senior Lecturer, Southampton University.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:237 pages, 8.9 × 6 × 0.6 inPublished:February 18, 1999Publisher:The MIT PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0262531631

ISBN - 13:9780262531634

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From Our Editors

This is a scientific investigation whose heart beats with stark, emotional stories. Jonathan Cole wrote About Face to find out how the face and facial expressions aid communication and form a sense of self. Cole provides a background for his findings in touching stories of loss, blindness, neurological impairment and most significantly, people with Mobius Syndrome, a total lack of facial movement.

Editorial Reviews

About Face...is, I believe, a truly important book, which could do much to counteract the extremes of sociobiological reductionism.



A thoughtful and rich book about the human face, written from an unusual perspective.