Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Botox May Keep You From Reading Other People's Emotions

Gah, needle to the face! From Beauty Resurgence.
You may know that Botox makes smiling difficult, but WebMD reports that it also dampens one's ability to read the emotions of others. Researchers in Los Angeles took 31 women who had received either Botox or Restylane--a treatment similar to Botox, but without the muscle paralyzing effects. Researchers also looked at 56 women and 39 men who used a cream that augmented signals from facial muscles. All participants were then asked to look at faces on a computer screen and identify the displayed emotion. Researchers found that the women who used Botox were less likely to name the correct emotion than their Restylane counterparts, but people who used the facial cream were best of all.

David R. Neal of the University of California, one of the authors of the study, says, "If you have a poker face because your facial muscles are paralyzed, you can’t read others emotions as well." This happens because our faces subtly mimic the emotions we see in others, giving the brain multiple ways to process emotional information. But since Botox paralyzes facial muscles, that avenue is closed to users.

Dr. Neal points out, however, that this deadening effect is subtle, and probably only affects heavy Botoxers. "People are not becoming automatons," he says. "It’s just a matter of weighing whether the aesthetic and self-esteem boost outweighs any subtle impact on your ability to perceive others emotions."


  1. Wow, would never think something liek this was possible!

  2. Welcome to the world of cosmetic surgery! (Although Botox injections aren't quite "surgery," their kind of in the same category.)

  3. Right Julia.....who would have thought about this 5 years ago? This is a great thing for some, I think poker players will love this news, because thanks to it they will have the solution to keep their emotions far from facial readers.....

  4. Hey, that's a rather ingenious idea. I hadn't thought of it before, but apparently other people have: http://www.launchpoker.com/fun/poker-and-botox/ .

    Is wearing a mask illegal in poker tournaments? I'm guessing it is, but plastic surgery could be a great way to beat the system!