Navigation Links
After a fight with a partner, brain activity predicts emotional resiliency
Date:3/9/2010

Common wisdom tells us that for a successful relationship partners shouldn't go to bed angry. But new research from a psychologist at Harvard University suggests that brain activityspecifically in the region called the lateral prefrontal cortexis a far better indicator of how someone will feel in the days following a fight with his or her partner.

Individuals who show more neural activity in the lateral prefrontal cortex are less likely to be upset the day after fighting with partners, according to a study in this month's Biological Psychiatry. The findings point to the lateral prefrontal cortex's role in emotion regulation, and suggest that improved function within this region may also improve day-to-day mood.

"What we found, as you might expect, was that everybody felt badly on the day of the conflict with their partners," says lead author Christine Hooker, assistant professor of psychology in Harvard's Faculty of Arts and Sciences. "But the day after, people who had high lateral prefrontal cortex activity felt better and the people who had low lateral prefrontal cortex activity continued to feel badly."

Hooker's co-authors are zlem Ayduk, Anett Gyurak, Sara Verosky, and Asako Miyakawa, all of the University of California at Berkeley.

Research has previously shown that the lateral prefrontal cortex is associated with emotion regulation in laboratory tests, but the effect has never been proven to be connected to experiences in day-to-day life.

This study involved healthy couples in a relationship for longer than three months. While in an fMRI scanner, participants viewed pictures of their partners with positive, negative, or neutral facial expressions and their neural activity was recorded while reacting to the images. While in the lab, participants were also tested for their broader cognitive control skills, such as their ability to control impulses and the shift and focus of attention.

For three weeks, the couples also recorded in an online diary their daily emotional state and whether they had had a fight with their partners.

Hooker found that participants who displayed greater activity in their lateral prefrontal cortex while viewing their partners' negative facial expressions in the scanner were less likely to report a negative mood the day after a fight with their partners, indicating that they were better able to emotionally "bounce back" after the conflict.

She also found that those who had more activity in the lateral prefrontal cortex and greater emotional regulation after a fight displayed more cognitive control in laboratory tests, indicating a link between emotion regulation and broader cognitive control skills.

"The key factor is that the brain activity in the scanner predicted their experience in life," says Hooker. "Scientists believe that what we are looking at in the scanner has relevance to daily life, but obviously we don't live our lives in a scanner. If we can connect what we see in the scanner to somebody's day-to-day emotion-regulation capacity, it could help psychologists predict how well people will respond to stressful events in their lives."

While Hooker acknowledges that more work must be done to develop clinical applications for the research, it may be that lateral prefrontal cortex function provides information about a person's vulnerability to develop mood problems after a stressful event. This raises the question as to whether increasing lateral prefrontal cortex function will improve emotion regulation capacity.


'/>"/>

Contact: Amy Lavoie
amy_lavoie@harvard.edu
617-496-9982
Harvard University
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Most early stage breast cancer patients may not need radiation after mastectomy
2. Henry Ford Hospital study: Shoulder function not fully restored after surgery
3. Most early-stage breast cancer patients may not need radiation after mastectomy
4. Radiation Most Effective Soon After Breast Cancer Surgery
5. Death After Discharge Rates Higher in Elderly ICU Patients
6. American Stroke Association Late-Breaking Science News Report: Stroke Survivors Can Improve Functioning of Paralyzed Arm Years After Stroke
7. Doctor Joseph Racanelli is Helping Christina Get Back Her Shape After Brutal Attack
8. HIV drug that protects a fetus should be avoided for one year after childbirth, researchers say
9. Vitamin B3 May Help Repair Brain After a Stroke
10. Two Babies Born a Year Apart After Ovary Transplant
11. Access to Mammograms Drops After Guidelines Change
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... June 23, 2017 , ... Everybody has their own ... others prefer to read it, and some people don't like it at all. FindaTopDoc ... what they found: , Erotic literature can give readers a taste of their deepest, ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... June 23, 2017 , ... Ensuring meat products have ... highlight the importance of correctly using a meat thermometer. The videos feature University ... research on consumer food safety habits. Dr. Bruhn explains the variety of meat ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... West Palm Beach, FL (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2017 , ... ... June 19, in Pinecrest, Florida. This is MD Now’s 28th facility overall and marks ... 12301 S. Dixie Highway, located one mile North of The Falls shopping mall. The ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2017 , ... American Farmer, ... winning series, which is slated to air fourth quarter 2017. American Farmer airs Tuesdays ... Hansen, a Danish pharmacist, founded Chr. Hansen in Denmark in 1874 after a ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... 23, 2017 , ... Jusino Insurance Services, a locally owned ... greater Chicago metropolitan area, is embarking on a charity drive in conjunction with ... Founded in 1897, Hephzibah Children’s Association is one of the oldest social services ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/2/2017)...  NxStage Medical, Inc. (Nasdaq:  NXTM), a leading medical technology company ... demonstrating positive biochemical outcomes related to more frequent hemodialysis ... will be presented at the ERA-EDTA Congress being held ... . The research was conducted by ... Europe (KIHDNEy) Cohort team ...
(Date:5/30/2017)... TEL AVIV, Israel , May 30, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... clinical stage pharmaceutical Company specializing in the development ... management will present a company overview at three ... The 7th Annual LD Micro Invitational: ... Date:                     ...
(Date:5/24/2017)... 2017  ivWatch LLC today announced the launch ... to enable seamless integration of ivWatch,s groundbreaking IV ... pumps and other devices. By integrating ivWatch technology ... help health care customers deliver a higher level ... IV therapy. "The ivWatch OEM Board ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: