Welcome to ChimpFACS, an observational, scientific tool to record and analyse facial expressions in chimpanzees.

Scientists have observed that facial expressions are similar between primate species for many years, but until now we have had no common language with which to assess similarity between species. Here we present an anatomically based system that can assess similarity at the level of facial musculature. ChimpFACS is based on the widely used Facial Action Coding System (FACS) by Paul Ekman & Walter Friesen (1978; updated version in CDRom: Ekman, Friesen & Hager, 2002). Thus, ChimpFACS is a technical guide that explains how to categorize chimpanzee facial behaviours in terms of muscle movement. We have conducted detailed research of facial movement in both chimpanzees and humans (see publications section for more detail) to verify this system, and in the manual we illustrate these movements using written descriptions, still images, and digital video examples.

To access the ChimpFACS training manual, where you can view chimpanzee video clips, please contact us for a free password. A preview of the manual is available to view without a password.

Once you have completed the training, you may wish to become certified to use ChimpFACS. The ChimpFACS certification test is available online, with a password given upon request.

If you have any questions about the system, how to use it and whether it will suit your research, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

If you wish to make comparisons between human and chimpanzee facial expressions we recommend that you become certified in FACS also. To become certified in FACS you need to obtain materials directly from the FACS website.

Website designed by Paul Marshman and Dr Bridget Waller, University of Portsmouth, UK
Maintained by Dr Kim Bard, Dr Bridget Waller and Paul Waby, University of Portsmouth, UK