Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Psychol Sci. 2010 Jul;21(7):895-900. doi: 10.1177/0956797610374742. Epub 2010 Jun 14.

Cosmetic use of botulinum toxin-a affects processing of emotional language.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1202 W. Johnson St., Madison, WI 53706-1611, USA. dahavas@wisc.edu

Abstract

How does language reliably evoke emotion, as it does when people read a favorite novel or listen to a skilled orator? Recent evidence suggests that comprehension involves a mental simulation of sentence content that calls on the same neural systems used in literal action, perception, and emotion. In this study, we demonstrated that involuntary facial expression plays a causal role in the processing of emotional language. Subcutaneous injections of botulinum toxin-A (BTX) were used to temporarily paralyze the facial muscle used in frowning. We found that BTX selectively slowed the reading of sentences that described situations that normally require the paralyzed muscle for expressing the emotions evoked by the sentences. This finding demonstrates that peripheral feedback plays a role in language processing, supports facial-feedback theories of emotional cognition, and raises questions about the effects of BTX on cognition and emotional reactivity. We account for the role of facial feedback in language processing by considering neurophysiological mechanisms and reinforcement-learning theory.

PMID:
20548056
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3070188
Free PMC Article

Images from this publication.See all images (2)Free text

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk