The muscles in our face allow us to express emotion without speaking. There are seven basic human emotions with very clear facial signals: anger, sadness, fear, surprise, disgust, contempt and happiness. To make an expression, we move the muscles that lie beneath the skin. Unlike other skeletal muscles, which are attached to bones, the facial muscles are attached to other muscles, or to the skin. So even a tiny contraction in one such muscle can pull the skin and change your expression.
There are ten groups of muscles in the scalp and face. One group in the scalp can move forward and backward to keep the scalp pliable and healthy. There are two groups that cover the eyelid and orbital area, controlling blinking, tear duct control and movement of the eyeball. Near the nose, there are several small muscles that interconnect with other muscles in the face, enabling nostrils to flair or compress, and the upper lip to lift. A muscle runs vertically along the forehead, raising the eyebrows and helping the face to frown. The "kissing muscle" (known to anatomists as the orbicularis oris) closes the mouth and puckers the lips when it contracts. Other muscles control the corners of the mouth so we can smile, and help with chewing.
All these muscles are connected by the facial nerve. The facial nerve contains about 10,000 individual nerve fibers and works like a telephone cable. It carries electrical impulses to a specific facial muscle, and this signal is what enables us to laugh, cry, smile, or frown. The facial nerve also carries nerve impulses to the tear glands, saliva glands, and the middle ear, as well as transmitting taste from the front of the tongue.