Ever fake a smile for so long that your facial muscles are bogged down by a dull, sore pain for an eternity afterwards? Ever watch a beauty pageant contestant on television and think that it must be absolute torture having to force a giant dazzling smile for five hours straight? Ever pose for a high school yearbook photo? Although the study of rigid social etiquette and it’s possibly serious detrimental effects on human anatomy over time (perhaps leading to evolutionary mutations) was never Guillaume Duchenne’s goal – he was definitely on the right track to be able to do so. Guillaume Duchenne (aka: Duchenne de Boulogne) was a French neurologist who lived from 1806 to 1875. His specialty was uncovering the root causes of muscle/nerve disorders, and in in doing so he developed electrodiagnosis and electrotherapy. Duchenne would one-by-one stimulate every superficial muscle on subjects (particularly the face) by touching the skin with electrically charged rods and wires. The combined effects of this observation in different types of patients allowed him to create a kind of map that traced the cause and effect of the complex interconnected muscles and nerves (and brain) in the human body. He even invented the concept of the medical “biopsy,? by using a tiny hollowed out “harpoon? which he would use to penetrate subjects’ skin and extract pieces of muscle tissue for examination. During a few low points in his career as a medical researcher, Duchenne turned into a bit of a travelling showman; he built his very own electrical box-like machine and carried it with while venturing door-to-door at hospitals and institutions, seeking out patients with peculiar, undiagnosable muscular disorders. He would then offer to use his process of applying electricity to the subject’s skin, called “faradism,? to try and diagnose the problem and create a treatment for it. Lots of interesting photos were taken. Sinister looking? Yep. But Duchenne ended up a hero; he created groundbreaking research in the study of muscle paralysis, and his work laid down the blueprint for what we know today as modern neurology – not to mention the cause-and-effect behind a zillion regrettable, forced-smile, blank-eyed high school yearbook photos.