According to a research published in the journal of “Social Psychological and Personality Science”, Botox reduces the ability of the user to understand other’s feelings. Botox is the trade name for Botulinum toxin (protein from a bacteria) and is used to improve, temporarily, frown lines between the eye brows.
According to a new study by David T. Neal, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Southern California, and Tanya L. Chartrand, a professor of marketing and psychology at the Duke University Fuqua School of Business, Botox users are unable to copy facial emotions of others. It is hypothesized that mimicking the facial expressions of other person helps to understand the feelings as this mimicry, generate and send signals from the person’s face to the brain helping the person to understand the intention or hidden meaning.
In one study, Botox users were less able to decode positive or negative emotions while looking at photographs of humans. And in another study, people with enhanced expressions do a better job in finding the hidden meaning of emotions.
Researchers got the idea for this research from a study conducted in 1980 that lond married men and women start resembling each other (which may be due to mimicking the facial expressions.)
References and Further Reading:
Neal, D. T. et al. (2011). Embodied Emotion Perception: Amplifying and Dampening Facial Feedback Modulates Emotion Perception Accuracy. Social Psychological and Personality Science.
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/19/fashion/botox-reduces-the-ability-to-empathize-study-says.html?_r=1&ref=health accessed June 18, 2011.