Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Short Communication

What is pain facial expression for?

Nico H. Frijda a1
a1 Department of Psychology, Amsterdam University, 1018 WB Amsterdam, The Netherlands


A functional interpretation of facial expressions of pain is welcome. Facial expressions of pain may be useful not only for communication, such as inviting help. They may also be of direct use, as parts of writhing pain behavior patterns, serving to get rid of pain stimuli and/or to suppress pain sensations by something akin to hyperstimulation analgesia.