Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Think Positive, it's better for you

The disparity between positive and pessimistic minds is especially prominent in areas of the brain that have been linked to depression. "The same areas that malfunction in depression are very active when people think about positive events," says Tali Sharot, a post-doctorate fellow at University College London, who conducted the research at New York University.

In the study, Sharot had subjects think about emotional events, both positive and negative, like winning an award or ending a romantic relationship. They did this for past events and those that could plausibly occur in the future, while their brains were being scanned in an MRI. Afterwards, subjects filled out a questionnaire that measured their level of optimism. What Sharot found was that when participants thought about positive future events, two regions of the brain became much more active than when they thought about negative events.

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