Botox Dulls Emotions

Limited facial expressions may stifle feelings

By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 22, 2010 2:30 PM CDT

(Newser) – Some Botox patients have trouble looking happy or sad, and now research suggests they have trouble feeling happy or sad as a result. Facial expressions themselves are thought to produce sensory feedback that influences emotional states, so a group of Barnard researchers tested whether Botox users—who have literally paralyzed parts of their faces—might feel limited responses, LiveScience reports.

The researchers showed videos with strong emotional scenes to subjects injected with Botox and Restylane, another wrinkle-fighting substance that doesn't paralyze tissue. The Botox folks were especially limited in their ability to respond to a mildly positive scene and "exhibited an overall significant decrease in the strength of emotional experience," the researchers write in the journal Emotion.

Colleen Delsack, 47, of Alexandria, Va., has Botox injected  by Dr. Shannon Ginnan,  at Reveal in Arlington, Va. on Friday, June 5, 2009.
Colleen Delsack, 47, of Alexandria, Va., has Botox injected by Dr. Shannon Ginnan, at Reveal in Arlington, Va. on Friday, June 5, 2009.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Colleen Delsack, 47, of Alexandria, Va., has Botox injected by Dr. Shannon Ginnan,  at Reveal in Arlington, Va. on Friday, June 5, 2009.
Colleen Delsack, 47, of Alexandria, Va., has Botox injected by Dr. Shannon Ginnan, at Reveal in Arlington, Va. on Friday, June 5, 2009.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
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