Thursday, August 24, 2006

Big Time Brooding and the Brain

Brooding on negative events (a.k.a. trait rumination, melancholic temperament, or like Eeyore) is thought by many to be an inherited tendency or quality of temperament. It does occur in kids as well as adults, and when it occurs in the extreme, it can be improved by cognitive reappraisal.

In the study below, researchers found that brooding on negative aspects of a photograph could increase activity in the emotional amygdala in a pretty much linear fashion. Thinking on the positive, on the other, turned the amydala down.



The important site for the control of brooding was found in the the left prefrontal cortex, an area known to be maturing into young adulthood that's also known to be important for information selection and many decision-making processes.

We're taking a long weekend, so we'll be back blogging next Monday, Aug 28th.

Brooding (Trait Rumination) and fMRI pdf
Eide Neurolearning Blog: Teaching Optimism
Eide Neurolearning Blog: Generation 'Whatever': From Pessimism to Pragmatic Optimism
Lincoln and His Depressions - How His Melancholy Changed History
Prefrontal Cortex and Information Retrieval

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