General information

Occipitofrontalis is a scalp muscle that is long and wide. This muscle and the temporoparietalis make up the epicranial group of the facial expression muscles.

Literal meaning

The muscle upon the skull that goes from the brow to the back of the head.

Interesting information

This muscle has two bellies, the frontal and occipital bellies, which both have a pair of quadrangular muscle heads. They are both connected by a thick fibrous sheath called epicranial aponeurosis.


Frontal belly (frontalis): skin of eyebrow, muscles of forehead.

Occipital belly (occipitalis): (lateral 2/3 of) superior nuchal line.


Epicranial aponeurosis.


Frontal belly: elevates eyebrows, wrinkles skin of forehead.

Occipital belly: retracts scalp.

Nerve supply

Frontal belly: temporal branches of facial nerve (CN VII).

Occipital belly: posterior auricular nerve (branch of facial nerve (CN VII)).

Blood supply

Superficial temporal, ophthalmic, posterior auricular and occipital arteries.


Relevant research

The involuntary contraction of the occipitofrontalis muscle that causes forehead wrinkles during primary gazing can be corrected by the aponeurotic fixation to reduce the stretching of Mueller muscle.

Kondoh, S., Matsuo, K., Kikuchi, N., & Yuzuriha, S. (2006). Pathogenesis and surgical correction of involuntary contraction of the occipitofrontalis muscle that causes forehead wrinkles. Annals of plastic surgery, 57(2), 142–148.

Occipitofrontalis exercises

Occipitofrontalis exercises

Eyebrow lift

Lift your eyebrows as high as possible. Then relax.

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