The face is of major importance as we communicate and can usually not be ignored. A small infant learns using the face of his mother to read how he is doing, as it refl ects its wellbeing. Later on, when the way of communicating improves, facial expressions and mimics lead to social reactions and interactions. Because of the strong relation between the face and its function in social encounters and communication, fascination has always existed on the appearance of the face and the presence of specifi c traits and even psychiatric or criminal constitutions. This fi eld of study has been called physiognomy and was already practised in the fi rst Babylonian Dynasty, and afterwards popularised by Aristotle and especially by Della Porta, Browne and Lavatar.

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I.M.J. Mathijssen (Irene) , S.E.R. Hovius (Steven)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
BAP Medical, CZ Fonds, Carolien Bijl Stichting, Catharina Ziekenhuis Eindhoven, Erasmus MC Rotterdam, Esser Stichting, Junior Vereniging Plastische Chirurgie, Maatschappij voor Plastische Chirurgie, St. Fransiscus gasthuis Rotterdam, Stichtin, Stichting Achmea Gezondheidszorg, Van Wijngaarden Medical, Velthuis Kliniek
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

van den Elzen, M.E.P. (2012, September 14). Finding the balance in treatment for patients with rare facial clefts . Erasmus University Rotterdam. Retrieved from