Getting rid of wrinkles can surely make anyone happy. A recent study finds that BOTOX® Cosmetic gives patients a whole new reason to smile. The study, performed by the University of Wisconsin, found that by using BOTOX® Cosmetic to prevent the facial expression of negative emotions your brain is therefore tricked into thinking that those emotions don’t exist.
Graduate student David Havas built he study on pre-existing research on the classic psychology idea known as the facial feedback hypothesis. The facial feedback hypothesis, which dates back to Charles Darwin, is the idea that one’s facial expressions can have an effect on emotional experience. Basically, the concept is that smiling can make you feel happy and scowling can make you feel annoyed.
Botulinum toxin, the active ingredient in BOTOX® Cosmetic, weakens the muscles in the face when injected and reduces one’s ability to express facial emotions. During the study, Harvas and his colleagues asked 40 volunteers to read statements with particular emotional freight two weeks prior to their BOTOX® Cosmetic injections. The statements were linked to emotions including angry, sad, and happy. The same process was repeated two weeks following the subjects’ injections.
The researchers then measured each subject’s response time to the statements. When a “happy” statement was read, the subjects responded a lot faster than they did to “sad” or “angry” statements. The negative emotions could not be computed as easily for the subjects as they had before their BOTOX® Cosmetic injections.
“Normally, the brain would be sending signals to the periphery to frown, and the extent of the frown would be sent back to the brain,” said University of Wisconsin professor emeritus Arthur Glenberg about the study. “But here, that loop is disrupted, and the intensity of the emotion and of our ability to understand it when embodied in language is disrupted
This study is breakthrough inasmuch as it proves the body to no longer be a bystander to the brain when it comes to how emotions are felt and expressed. That, and it gives BOTOX® Cosmetic users another reason to smile.