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Facial Paresis Analysis

Team: Tim Büchner, Oliver Mothes, Sven Sickert


The human face is a complex and diverse part of the human body. All facial motions for individual mimics and emotional expressions are possible using 43 different muscles controlled respectively by one facial nerve on both halves of the face. However, this nerve can be injured by external or internal factors, which in turn can cause a facial palsy. A unilateral facial palsy essentially leads to a one-sided motor dysfunction of the facial muscles, a movement disorder. The resulting defective eye closure leads to the drying out of the eye, eye inflammation and visual impairment. The paralysis of the perioral musculature hinders regular dient and speech. Medical experts evaluate facial palsy in a subjective manner. But ideally, these functional deficits should be measured objectively by exploiting machine learning methods. The following projects tackle this task.

Project: Bridging the Gap - Mimics and Muscles

Time frame: 2019 - 2022

The aim of the project is the synthesis of the facial surface model with a model of the facial muscles. High-resolution 3D video sequences, which are recorded synchronously together with electromyography sequences, are intended to facilitate understanding of the facial muscles. The resulting model should be used for an automatic objective evaluation of facial palsy.

Project: Irritationsfreies und emotionssensitives Trainingssystem (IRESTRA)

Time frame: 2016 - 2019

The interaction between humans and machines is an ongoing research field in many scientific disciplines. To develop an optimal strategy for machines to interact with humans the interactions between humans can be used to detect signals for the mood of the interaction partner and react in an adequate way. Especially elderly people can benefit from an easy and intuitive handling of technical devices. The aim of the project is to develop an irritation free and non invasive emotion sensitive training device for elderly people and Facial Paresis patients. Older persons can use this system for memory training (e.g. person recognition), whereas paresis patients can do their daily facial training sessions with a direct feedback from the machine and motivation if necessary. Within this project these tasks are tackled by combining medical, psychological and neurological knowledge with machine learning and computer vision techniques both in 2D and 3D in coorperation with the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering IOF, the Jena University Hospital (namely the Institute of Psychosocial Medicine and Psychological Therapy, the Department of Neurology and the Department of Otolaryngology) and the Department for General Psychology from the Friedrich Schiller University Jena.