Adachi, T., Miyagi Gakuin Women's College, Masame, K., Miyagi University and Kochi, S., Tohoku University Dental Hospital, Japan
This study examined the nature of facial movements presented by children with cleft lip and palate (CLP) during interpersonal communication. Medical and psychological professionals have long been interested in static features of the facial deformity and scars of patients with CLP. However, recent cognitive science has revealed that dynamic features of facial expression such as movement and speed have also an effect on interpersonal communication. Sixty-three children with CLP aged 5 to 10 years old and a control group of 20 age matched non-cleft children were evaluated. Two coders rated whether the subject moved their lips and jaws naturally or not. Reliability figures of the two coders after a day's training were over 90% for both retest and intercoder reliability. The coder rated that the lips of 24.6% subjects and the jaws of 46.0% subjects in the clinical group were rather unnatural movements. On the other hand, they rated that no subject in the control group moved their lips and jaws in an unnatural way. Some patients moved their lips and jaws asymmetrically. There is a possibility that these asymmetrical features of facial movement of the patients may give an impression on others as facial expression including concealed intention such as irony and contempt.