Thursday, October 30, 2008

Plásticas fazem-nos felizes por dentro

Botox makes us happy

Alex Tabarrok

It's long been known that simply smiling makes people feel better and making an angry face can make people feel more angry.  Thus some cosmetic surgeons speculated:

People with Botox may be less vulnerable to the angry emotions of other people because they themselves can’t make angry or unhappy faces as easily. And because people with Botox can’t spread bad feelings to others via their expressions, people without Botox may be happier too.

Amazingly, a recent experiment in the journal Cerebral Cortex supports this theory, although the abstract is a mouthful.  You can read a summary here.

We show that, during imitation of angry facial expressions, reduced feedback due to BTX treatment attenuates activation of the left amygdala and its functional coupling with brain stem regions implicated in autonomic manifestations of emotional states. These findings demonstrate that facial feedback modulates neural activity within central circuitries of emotion during intentional imitation of facial expressions. Given that people tend to mimic the emotional expressions of others, this could provide a potential physiological basis for the social transfer of emotion. 

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