Study: Botox affects emotions

June 16, 2010 at 4:51 PM
share with facebook
share with twitter

NEW YORK, June 16 (UPI) -- U.S. psychology professors say they've discovered people who have undergone Botox treatments might experience weaker emotions.

Barnard College Professors Joshua Davis and Ann Senghas, who led the research, noted Botox users are often ridiculed for having stiff faces that appear unable to express emotions. But Davis and Senghas said their findings suggest facial expressions themselves might influence emotional experiences. In other words, they said Botox not only changes one's appearance, it also affects real emotions.

"With the advent of Botox, it is now possible to work with people who have a temporary, reversible paralysis in muscles that are involved in facial expressions," Davis said. "The muscle paralysis allows us to isolate the effects of facial expression and the subsequent sensory feedback to the brain that would follow from other factors, such as intentions relating to one's expressions and motor commands to make an expression.

"With Botox, a person can respond otherwise normally to an emotional event, e.g. a sad movie scene, but will have less movement in the facial muscles that have been injected, and therefore less feedback to the brain about such facial expressivity," he added. "It thus allows for a test of whether facial expressions and the sensory feedback from them to the brain can influence our emotions."

The research is reported in the journal Emotions.

Trending Stories