News & Events
Pessimism and Neuroscience: New Relationships Discovered
- April 26, 2020
- Posted by: Wiley M. Wagner
- Category: Science
Some people prefer to maintain that “the glass is half empty” – however, such a pessimistic attitude is not always the result of external factors, as a recent study by experts from the Massachusetts Technical University showed. This time, neuroscientists focused on identifying a specific region of the brain that controls the decision-making process and the positive-pessimistic mood of a person, and which is associated with these concepts. Scientists, after a long study of various parts of the brain, came to the conclusion that pessimism may be the result of a malfunction of the so-called striatum.
This part of the brain is located in the middle part of the anterior cortex and is generally responsible for the decision-making process. Experts previously conducted many tests on animals in this regard, during which they provided animals with a choice between different types of risks and different types of rewards for their implementation. The results of those studies clearly demonstrated that severe stress and / or deliberate “disconnection” of a given region of the brain often triggers the process of choosing more risky decisions.
The same thing with pessimism – judging by the results of researchers, then this “attitude” is more or less familiar to the mind of the brain itself, since in a calm state a person is not exposed to any type of stress factors. However, a change in the work of the striatum – and in particular the caudate nucleus within a given region – can significantly change the decision-making process in most situations, whether these are situations of the same type or not.
In any case, this discovery will significantly deepen the understanding of how changes in individual brain regions can affect the formation of a completely different type of personality – especially if it comes to studying a separate process. Specialists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are planning to further expand the subject base of their research, making it more comprehensive and affecting more aspects.