Deeper than skin deep - The effect of botulinum toxin-A on emotion processing

Toxicon. 2016 Aug;118:86-90. doi: 10.1016/j.toxicon.2016.04.044. Epub 2016 Apr 26.


The effect of facial botulinum Toxin-A (BTX) injections on the processing of emotional stimuli was investigated. The hypothesis, that BTX would interfere with processing of slightly emotional stimuli and less with very emotional or neutral stimuli, was largely confirmed. BTX-users rated slightly emotional sentences and facial expressions, but not very emotional or neutral ones, as less emotional after the treatment. Furthermore, they became slower at categorizing slightly emotional facial expressions under time pressure.

Keywords: Botox-treatment; Botulinum toxin-A; Embodiment; Emotion processing; Facial feedback.

Publication types

  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Botulinum Toxins, Type A / administration & dosage
  • Botulinum Toxins, Type A / adverse effects*
  • Cosmetic Techniques / adverse effects*
  • Cosmetic Techniques / psychology
  • Emotional Adjustment / drug effects*
  • Emotions
  • Face
  • Facial Expression
  • Feedback, Psychological / drug effects*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Injections, Subcutaneous
  • Italy
  • Language
  • Mental Processes / drug effects
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuromuscular Agents / administration & dosage
  • Neuromuscular Agents / adverse effects*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Reaction Time / drug effects


  • Neuromuscular Agents
  • Botulinum Toxins, Type A