Barnard researchers: Botox users look like they don’t feel because they don’t
Botox users are sometimes/constantly mocked for not being able to express their emotions via facial movement. The joke, however, is on the Botoxian naysayers. A new study shows that Botox users don’t express strong emotions because the injection may weaken emotions. Ha! Who’s laughing now? (Actually, it’s probably not the Botox users, given the strong feelings necessary for laughter.)
Barnard psychology professors Joshua Davis and Ann Senghas led the study, which found that the Botox-induced muscle paralysis reduces feedback to the brain about facial activity. A normal reaction elicits minimal facial movement, so the brain only picks up that lessened sensory feedback.
It should be noted that we wrote this with the sole intention of alerting the general public that Botox has provided science with a way to test whether facial expressions and sensory feedback may, in fact, influence emotions. We do not mean to make Botox users feel bad. Not that they’d be able to have an emotional reaction to our derision (or anything at all).
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