Getting rid of wrinkles is a reason for anyone to smile. A recent study found that Botox® could also improve someone’s mood simply by limiting his or her ability to frown.
The study, which was performed by researchers at the University of Wisconsin on 40 volunteers, tested how the patients reacted to emotional statements following an injection of Botox®. The subjects were asked to read messages that ranged from “angry” to “sad” to “happy”. Researchers then gauged the patient’s mood by observing how long it took to respond to each statement.
The subjects of the trial took slightly longer to respond to the negative statements following their treatment than they had before their Botox® injections. The elongated response time indicated that the brain had a harder time processing the negative emotion following the treatment.
"There is a long-standing idea in psychology called the facial feedback hypothesis Essentially, it says, when you're smiling, the whole world smiles with you. It's an old song, but it's right," says the study’s author, David Havas.
The facial feedback hypothesis, which dates back to Charles Darwin in the late 1800s, is the idea that one’s facial expressions can have an effect on emotional experience.
According to the research leader professor Arthur Glengerg, the brain would normally send signals to the facial muscles to frown, and in return the extent of the frown would be sent back to the brain. Under the influence of Botox®, the muscles in the face are weakened and the intensity of the emotion is in turn disrupted.
Botox® can also have the same effect on happiness as well. When injected into the lower part of the face, Botox® can obstruct a normal smile and in turn effect the brain’s ability to comprehend pleasure levels.