June 4, 2010

Botox interferes not only with the ability to display emotions, but also with the ability to understand emotion.

"We know that language moves us emotionally," said the lead author, David Havas, a psychology graduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. "What this study shows is that that's partly because it moves us physically."...

The researchers asked 40 women waiting to receive first-time Botox injections to read a series of 60 sentences on a computer, pressing a key when they understood each sentence. To make sure participants were reading the sentences, the researchers periodically checked their reading comprehension. Participants repeated the test, using a fresh set of questions, two weeks later when the Botox treatment's paralyzing effect was at its height.

After treatment, participants were slower to understand sentences conveying sadness or anger than they had been before treatment. There was no such change for happy sentences. Mood analyses ruled out the possibility that the women were simply happier after receiving Botox, making them quicker to comprehend happier material.

The results indicate that our own facial expressions help the brain make sense of the social world, Havas says.

"Our facial expressions reveal social context by mirroring expressions of those around us, giving us insight into their emotions, states of mind and future actions," he says. The Botox study, he says, suggests that our facial expressions also guide how we interpret language.

When the face's ability to provide feedback is disabled, as in Botox treatment, our understanding is hindered.

The new findings fit with the increasingly accepted theory that aspects of higher thought, such as language, judgment and memory, are shaped by our bodily sensations and movements, says Paula Niedenthal, a psychologist at Blaise Pascal University in Clermont-Ferrand, France, and a leading scholar on the role of the body in emotion. According to this "embodied" view of cognition, which has gained popularity over the last decade or so, the brain makes sense of the world at least partly by simulating action.
This has deep implications, far beyond the obvious reason to avoid taking Botox.


john said...

Botox also degrades one's ability to read.

edutcher said...

Well, that explains why The Zero looks so young.

AJ Lynch said...

Well,that explains why John Kerry sounds like an idiot.

wv =ingstasc [I think you ,may be trying to discourage me from commenting when I have to type words like this]

traditionalguy said...

This study has tremendous implications and reveals an important truth. He is right as all people who smile more discover that the world is so different from the world they frowned and looked with anger at the day before. Joy is a spiritual force obtained from a Righteouness recieved as a gift and it leads to peace. And frozen faced Yoga meditations are not where that can be found.

David said...

So does Obama use Botox?

mesquito said...

Once again, Science blunders into what Christians have known for a millenium.

Karen said...

Makes me think of the study where researchers had participants move their face in small subtle ways bit by bit until they had a particular emotion showing on their face. The emotion, say anger, affected how they interpreted ambiguous cues. Need to look up the details, but it was something like that.

traditionalguy said...

We were created to have relationships with the Creator and one another. So our ability to emotionally communicate is highly developed and can be trained or smashed by people around us who use it for us or use it against us. Seeking safe people that respect our boundaries becomes the skill of adulthood.

F said...

This took a study? Look at Nancy Pelosi for all the evidence you need. F

amba said...

And vice versa: Thich Nhat Hanh always said that if you smiled with your face, you'd become peaceful and happy.

danielle said...

"This has deep implications, far beyond the obvious reason to avoid taking Botox."

Obvious ? This study was on the short term effects of Botox. I really doubt that the body doesnt adapt in some way when this aspect of sensory experience is modified. Whatever impelled the mirroring in the first place is probably still happening, and quite possibly can still be sensed ... similar to the way people who observe the emotions of others without reacting are able to.

Penny said...

"This study was on the short term effects of Botox."

OK then!

May I suggest that we do another study on the long term effects of your brain on the internet?

Sheepman said...

How about using the Voight-Kampff machine?

rhhardin said...

Mood analyses ruled out the possibility that the women were simply happier after receiving Botox

There's a mood analysis for women.

mrs whatsit said...

Gray skies are gonna clear up,
Put on a happy face;
Brush off the clouds and cheer up,
Put on a happy face.

Take off the gloomy mask of tragedy,
It's not your style;
You'll look so good that you'll be glad
Ya' decide to smile!

Pick out a pleasant outlook,
Stick out that noble chin;
Wipe off that "full of doubt" look,
Slap on a happy grin!

And spread sunshine all over the place,
Just put on a happy face!
Put on a happy face
Put on a happy face

And if you're feeling cross and bitterish
Don't sit and whine
Think of banana split and licorice
And you'll feel fine

I knew a girl so gloomy
She'd never laugh or sing
She wouldn't listen to me
Now she's a mean old thing

So spread sunshine all over the place
Just put on a happy face
So, put on a happy face

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

When they looked at the FOXP2 gene, researchers were intrigued that it affects not only motor control of the parts of the face and mouth that produce language physically, but also one's comprehension of language. So this finding is not so surprising in light of that.

dbp said...

"his has deep implications, far beyond the obvious reason to avoid taking Botox."

The sort of people who want to look happy all the time, might also welcome becoming blind to sorrow.

gk1 said...

Would certainly explain Pelosi's babbling and incoherent statements. I understand Harry Reid is botoxing too. It is all coming together, isn't it?

raf said...

Not all communication is verbal. Face and body language is used extensively to communicate with others. It makes sense that there could be centers of communication in the brain which cross-wire these things, so to speak.

Milwaukee said...

This is reasonably expected. Dr. John Gottman, who has done a tremendous amount of work on relationships would tell us that if we shape our faces to reflect an emotion, the other physiological measures follow, such as heart beat and blood pressure. Darwin used the fact that people across cultures and continents used the same facial muscles to demonstrate the same emotional responses to stimuli to help him develop his theories on evolution. Perhaps this just reinforces why face-to-face conversations are so much more powerful than voice only conversations, or conversations via written words, such as texts and email.

One study that I read of, participants were asked to rate the funniness of cartoons. One group was asked to hold a pencil in their teeth, forcing a smile. The other group was asked to hold a pencil in their lips, forcing a frown. The group forced to smile thought the cartoons were significantly funnier than the group forced to frown. We can control and change our outlook on the world.

Smile and the whole world smiles with you. Frown, and the whole world will frown with you. Your choice.