Botox May Decrease Ability to Empathize, Study Finds

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Botox may decrease a person's ability to empathize.

Since the dawn of the Botox era, jokes have revolved around users' frozen faces: “I am so angry/excited/miserable right now!” they would say, spoken with stoic features that contradicted their words.

Now, according to one study, the ability to convey emotion might not be the only thing lost after injections—you might lose the ability to actually feel them in the first place.

The New York Times reports on a study by David T. Neal and Tanya L. Chartrand, an assistant professor of psychology and a professor of marketing and psychology, respectively, which states that people who have had Botox may be less able to mimic the emotions of others, which in turn “robs them of the ability to understand what people are feeling.”

According to the researchers’ theory, when one person listens to someone else, they unconsciously imitate the other’s expression, which communicates that emotion to the brain. If one is unable to copy that expression, however, the signal isn’t sent to the brain—and that person loses the ability to feel empathy.

Something to think about—and feel about—before you go under the needle, no?

Check out how premature Botox use can actually contribute to the appearance of aging.