London: A well-known side effect of Botox is the inability to fully express emotions. Now, a new research has revealed another side effect of the anti-wrinkle jabs: the inability to fully feel emotions.
The jab effectively ‘freezes’ the facial muscles around wrinkles, smoothing the skin but inhibiting facial expressions.
A study showed that those given the toxin injections experienced significantly less reaction to emotionally charged films than those who had not had the treatment.
The research supports the psychological theory that facial expressions can affect your mood, as well as being an indicator of it – so, for example, not being able to smile means you do not feel as happy.
“With the advent of Botox, it is now possible to work with people who have a temporary, reversible paralysis in muscles that are involved in facial expressions,” the Daily Mail quoted researcher Joshua Davis as saying.
“The muscle paralysis allows us to isolate the effects of facial expression and the subsequent sensory feedback to the brain.
“With Botox, a person can respond otherwise normally to an emotional event, for example a sad movie, but will have less movement in the facial muscles that have been injected, and therefore less feedback to the brain.
“It thus allows for a test of whether facial expressions and the sensory feedback from them can influence our emotions,” Davis added.
The study has been published in the academic journal Emotions.