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:4/29/2016)... ... April 29, 2016 , ... ... of our nation’s productivity, stability, even security. Most importantly, employees are the single ... Then why are American workers so unhappy? , Just under half of American ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 29, 2016 , ... Coast Dental Fort Stewart is celebrating its ... location in the Exchange Furniture Mall at 112 Vilseck Road in Fort Stewart. There ... TV. Plus attendees will have the opportunity to meet general dentists Thomas Richards, DDS, ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... Missouri (PRWEB) , ... April 29, 2016 , ... ... crutches which put pressure on the armpits, the M+D Crutch evenly distributes body weight ... on their wrists and hands when using the crutches than with other crutches. , ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... ... Dr. Robert Mondavi, one of the dentists in Torrance , is ... field as more patients are discovering the many different ways they can change and ... available to them and which ones might work for their smiles. , “One ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 29, 2016 , ... Jvion, ... round of funding led by Eastside Partners, with participation from existing investor Martin ... customer base and accelerate its technology and product roadmap. , “Jvion ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/27/2016)... , April 27, 2016 ... Including 42% Growth in Recurring Consumable Sales  ... Mauna Kea Technologies (Euronext: MKEA, OTCQX: MKEAY) inventor ... announced its sales for the first quarter ended March ... and the execution of its commercial strategy. ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... , April 27, 2016 ... titled, "Skincare Devices Market - Global Industry Analysis, Size, ... to the report, the global skincare devices market was ... anticipated to expand at a CAGR of 10.1% from ... 2023. Browse the full Skincare Devices Market (Treatment ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... -- Tie-up with Government hospitals as part ... save newborns   Fortis La Femme, ... with Breast Milk Foundation (BMF), a non-profit organization within the ... ,Amaara, in Delhi-NCR today. This non-profit centre recognizes that breast ... should be available to babies deprived of mother,s milk.  ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: