Botox may help keep anger, sadness at bay

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

WASHINGTON - Botox can prevent people from experiencing negative emotions, according to a new study.

Botulinum toxin type A (BTX) - known as Botox - is used to paralyze facial muscles that control frowning and relax the surrounding skin wrinkles.

However, this common cosmetic treatment administered to reduce frown lines can delay patients’ recognition of anger and sadness around them.

“Botox induces a kind of mild, temporary cognitive blindness to information in the world, social information about the emotions of other people,” Discovery News quoted David Havas, lead study author and a psychologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, as saying.

For the study, Havas and colleagues evaluated 40 first-time Botox patients before, and then two weeks after, they underwent treatment.

On both occasions, the participants read happy, sad or angry statements, and pushed a button to indicate their comprehension of the text.

After receiving the Botox injections, it took longer for the frown-impaired participants to process the angry and sad statements. However, the time required to process happy statements did not change.

The results of the study support the “facial feedback hypothesis,” which states that physical expressions, such as grinning or grimacing, signal our brains to produce emotional responses.

In this case, the Botox injections prevented frowning, and so delayed the perception of negative statements.he study is to be published in the journal Psychological Science. (ANI)

Filed under: Science and Technology

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