Darwin, Botox, and The Brain's Outer Edge

By Carl Zimmer | October 16, 2008 11:37 am

faces.jpgOne of Darwin’s lesser known obsessions was with faces–how we make different faces, and what they say about us. Today, psychologists and neuroscientists are discovering the hidden conversation between brain and face, with a lot of tools Darwin never had–MRI scanners, subcutaneous eletrodes, and Botox.

Botox?

Indeed. In fact, some recent studies with Botox raise the weird possibility that our national love affair with that face-freezing drug may be subtly altering the emotions of millions of people.

For more, check out my new column on the brain in the November issue of Discover.

[Illustration from Darwin’s The Expression of Emotions via Darwin Online]

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Brains, Evolution, Writing Elsewhere

Comments (2)

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  1. Darwiniana » Botox and emotions | October 16, 2008
  1. Ilza Marshall

    Intriguing. I had botox to remove a frown line about 5 months ago and I’ve become convinced that I’ve also been feeling less “frowny”: worrying less, able to drop out of the habit of niggling away at an anxiety-inducing issue. Now, the Botox is beginning to wear off…

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The Loom

A blog about life, past and future. Written by DISCOVER contributing editor and columnist Carl Zimmer.

About Carl Zimmer

Carl Zimmer writes about science regularly for The New York Times and magazines such as DISCOVER, which also hosts his blog, The LoomHe is the author of 12 books, the most recent of which is Science Ink: Tattoos of the Science Obsessed.

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