The mechanization of emotional expression in John Bulwer's Pathomyotomia (1649). Academic Article uri icon


  • John Bulwer's Pathomyotomia of 1649 appears to be the first substantial English-language work on the muscular basis of emotional expressions. Although Bulwer's impact on modern investigators has been indirect at best, it is clear that he confronted many of the same issues concerning the nature of the emotions and their relationship to facial movements, although his solutions to these problems clearly reflect the theories and methods of his time. Bulwer's theoretical assumptions and methods are discussed. The accuracy of some of his observations (in light of modern research) suggests that Pathomyotomia might have had a much greater impact on the science of physiognomy if it had not been dismissed by eighteenth- and nineteenth-century writers for some of its outdated theoretical foundations.

published proceedings

  • Am J Psychol

author list (cited authors)

  • Geen, T. R., & Tassinary, L. G.

citation count

  • 1

complete list of authors

  • Geen, Thomas R||Tassinary, Louis G

publication date

  • January 2002