Botox Effects are More than Skin Deep

23 May 2016
Presented by Fanny Yuen.

Botox is a popular cosmetic treatment where Botulin toxin-A injections paralyse your facial muscles, which relaxes smile lines and makes your skin appear younger. In comedies, it is often joked about for giving patients frozen expressions. But now, researchers say that having Botox not only makes your face difficult to read, but also impairs your ability to read the emotion of others. This stems from the theory of embodiment. For a person to process an emotion that they see, they are required to mimicking that emotion. When we see our friend smile, our face automatically smiles a little as well. Although this smile may be imperceptible, this action aids in our understanding of our friend's emotional expression. However, if your facial muscles are paralysed by Botox, you cannot copy your friend's expression, and; therefore, you will have difficulty understanding how they are feeling. Fanny Yuen spoke to lead researcher Jenny Baumeister from the SISSA in Italy to better understand how she conducted her study.

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