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Emotions Are in the Head, Not the Heart

Discussion in 'News, Politics & Debates' started by anthony, Oct 18, 2006.

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  1. anthony

    anthony Donate To Keep MyPTSD Founder

    In our normal, day to day life everyone has to deal with distracting emotions, from the teenager taking his first driving test to the footballer taking a kick at the goal amid a screaming crowd. Researchers have now discovered that the brain is able to prevent emotions from interfering with mental functioning by having a specific “executive processing” area of the cortex inhibit activity of the emotion-processing region.

    The study also reveals that sufferers of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or depression are unable to control emotional intrusion into their thoughts. Subjects were asked to identify the facial expressions in photos shown to them as either happy or fearful. Across each face were the words fear or happy, and were either congruent or conflicting from the facial expressions. When the word and face clashed, subjects experienced an emotional conflict, which slowed their performance and made them less accurate in identifying facial expressions. The researchers were able to discriminate between brain circuitry that detected this emotional conflict from circuitry that resolved this conflict.

    The outcome of this study could lead to more personalized treatments in the future, particularly for anxiety disorders and depression, based on a person’s specific emotional responses.

    Source: Psych Central
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