Dissection of seven cadavers showed that the platysma muscle may cover large parts of the masseter muscle. The platysma may thus be a significant source of artefact activity when recording the masseteric activity with surface electrodes. This is illustrated by a patient-case. The electrical activity of the platysma muscle was studied during jaw movements in normal, healthy subjects. Activity was regularly recorded during the latter half of large vertical jaw opening movements and, in five of the seven subjects, in the ipsilateral platysma muscle also during combined lateral-vertical jaw opening movements. The platysma may, therefore, in some individuals, have a functional role during the opening phase of chewing cycles when this has a marked lateral component.