Sadness Manifests Physically in Your Brain

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A team of researchers has discovered that negative feelings like sadness and anxiety are able to activate a link between two specific regions of the human brain.According to the study the scientist observed several the signals that were sent zones from the brain send to each other. When a person is sad or disappointed the signal exchange between two zones of the brain that focus on memory and emotion increases dramatically.

The researchers still debate if the phenomenon is caused by negative feelings or is it merely an effect that follows them. However, they were able to pinpoint the specific zones that are implied in the ‘’conversation’’.

It is clear that negative feelings like sadness, depression and anxiety manifest physically in the brain. The discovery is important because it allows doctors to provide patients concrete reasons in order to justify their diagnostics. The patient is also able to better understand why he feels like a particular emotion without the need to have advanced knowledge.

Researchers used a procedure called electroencephalography (EEG). As the name suggest, participating subjects had electrodes inserted inside and on their brain in the form of tiny implants. These implants allowed the researchers to collect the data needed for the study by measuring the electrical activity which occurs in the brain. While previous studies used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in order to observe brain activity, the method was quite limited since it only tracked blood flow changes in the brain. This allowed data to be collected but the results were influenced by the fact that it was an indirect method of measuring brain activity.

Since the insertion of electrodes is an invasive procedure, researchers opted to approach patients that suffered from epilepsy. They already had electrode implants that were used to track down the origin of the seizures.21 patients agreed to participate in the study and their moods were observed over a period of 7 to 10 days.

Feelings of sadness and general bad moods increased the electrical exchange between the amygdala (which deals with emotion) and the hippocampus (focused on memory). It is not yet clear why this happens and future research may reveal more about the inner works of our brain.


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