Throwing out the baby with the botox?

Had a lovely brunch with someone I’ve not seen in 20 years. She’s witty, glamorous etc. My wife thought so too. One of the things she mentioned was reading a study where babies of women who had botox injections were slower in their development because they were able to pick up the “normal” facial cues from their brow-beaten mums.

And I’ve searched for it without success, but – as you do – stumbled across some interesting stuff.
Friends frozen out as Botox deadens facial expression
Sunday Times April 11 2010

David Havas, a psychologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, who led the study, says his research proves Charles Darwin’s theory that facial expression is an important factor in producing emotion in the brain.
The findings, to be published in the journal Psychological Science, monitored the speed at which 40 volunteers processed written statements with an emotional message before and after receiving Botox injections.

Hmmm. Stumbled across this at Psychology Wikia
“In a study of cognitive processing of emotional content, David Havas and colleagues (Havas, Glenberg, Gutowski, Lucarelli, & Davidson, 2010) asked participants to read emotional (angry, sad, happy) sentences before and two weeks after botox injections in the corrugator supercilii muscle used in frowning. Reading times for angry and sad sentences were longer after botox injection than before injection, while reading times for happy sentences were unchanged. This finding shows that facial muscle paralysis has a selective effect on processing of emotional content. Intriguingly, it also demonstrates that cosmetic use of botox affects some aspects of human cognition.”
Havas, D. A., Glenberg, A. M., Gutowski, K. A., Lucarelli, M. J., & Davidson, R. J. (2010). Cosmetic use of botulinum toxin-A affects processing of emotional language. Psychological Science, 21, 895-900.

Also the obvious concept that a baby is picking up social cues…
Social referencing.

How would you “prove” this (the methodological challenges would be daunting). But anyway, why would you take the chance?(feel less sexy after having kid. Not getting any sleep. Into thirties. Getting lines. Not being able to be one of these yummy mummies etc. Still and all, isn’t deadening your face a stupid idea? But then, both capitalism and state socialism have deadened our spirits

UPDATE: 30 June 2011. Here’s some new info-
RESEARCH: I don’t feel your pain

About dwighttowers

Below the surface...
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3 Responses to Throwing out the baby with the botox?

  1. Samuel James says:

    Very interesting, because kids do mimic and read us via our facial expressions…This is our non verbal speech. This theory may have some legs.

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