Navigation Links
Belief, disbelief and uncertainty activate distinct brain regions
Date:12/9/2007

The capacity of the human mind to believe or disbelieve a statement is a powerful force for controlling both behavior and emotion, but the basis of these states in the brain is not yet understood. A new study found that belief, disbelief and uncertainty activate distinct regions of the brain, with belief/disbelief affecting areas associated with the pleasantness/unpleasantness of tastes and odors. The study will publish online in the Annals of Neurology (http://www.interscience.wiley.com/journal/ana), the official journal of the American Neurological Association.

Led by Sam Harris of the University of California, Los Angeles, the study involved 14 adults who underwent functional MRI scans during which they were presented with short statements that they had to evaluate as true, false or undecided. Each participant underwent three scans while they evaluated statements from a broad variety of categories such as mathematical, geographical, autobiographical, religious and factual. The statements were designed to be clearly true, false or undecidable.

Contrasting belief and disbelief trials yielded increased signal in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VMPFC), which is involved in linking factual knowledge with emotion. The involvement of the VMPFC in belief processing suggests an anatomical link between the purely cognitive aspects of belief and human emotion and reward, the authors state. The fact that ethical belief showed a similar pattern of activation to mathematical belief suggests that the physiological difference between belief and disbelief is not related to content or emotional associations, they note.

The contrasts between disbelief and belief showed increased signal in the anterior insula, a region involved in the sensation of taste, the perception of pain, and the feeling of disgust, indicating that false propositions might actually disgust us, the authors state. Our results appear to make sense of the emotional tone of disbelief, placing it on a continuum with other modes of stimulus appraisal and rejection, they add.

Uncertainty evoked a positive signal in the anterior cingulate cortext (ACC) and a decreased signal in the caudate, a region of the basal ganglia, which plays a role in motor action. Noting that both belief and disbelief showed an increased signal in the caudate compared to uncertainty, the authors suggest that the basal ganglia may play a role in mediating the cognitive and behavioral differences between decision and indecision.

The study raises the possibility that the differences between belief, disbelief and uncertainty may one day be reliably distinguished by neuroimaging techniques. They conclude: This would have obvious implications for the detection of deception, for the control of the placebo effect during the process of drug design, and for the study of any higher-cognitive phenomenon in which the differences between belief, disbelief, and uncertainty might be a relevant variable.


'/>"/>

Contact: Amy Molnar
amolnar@wiley.com
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Activate America(R) Brings Together YMCAs Nationwide to Promote Small Steps Toward a Healthier Lifestyle During America on the Move Week With the YMCA, September 22-29, 2007
2. YMCAs Activate America(R) Motivates More Than 1.3 Million People to Take 8 Billion Steps Toward a Healthier Lifestyle During America On the Move Week with the YMCA
3. Mayo Clinic Multidisciplinary Simulation Center Receives Distinction as an ACS-Accredited Education Institute
4. J.D. Power and Associates Reports: Hackensack University Medical Center Recognized as First Hospital to Achieve Distinction for Providing an Outstanding Inpatient Experience in All Four Service Areas
5. Gene screen patent leads to Deal of Distinction
6. Distinctive Art Auction Supports American Red Cross of Central New Jersey
7. Draining away brains toxic protein to stop Alzheimers
8. Vision restoration therapy shown to improve brain activity in brain injured patients
9. Clinical depression linked to abnormal emotional brain circuits
10. Brain imaging reveals breakdown of normal emotional processing
11. Brain cells work differently than previously thought
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/27/2016)... KS (PRWEB) , ... June 27, 2016 , ... TopConsumerReviews.com ... retailers of Eyeglasses . , Millions of individuals in the United States and ... have become a way to both correct vision and make a fashion statement. Even ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... PawPaws brand pet supplements ... that was developed to enhance the health of felines. The formula is all-natural and ... main herbs in the PawPaws Cat Kidney Support Supplement Soft Chews are ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Austin residents seeking Mohs surgery services, can now turn to ... Dr. Russell Peckham for medical and surgical dermatology. , Dr. Dorsey brings specialization to ... fellowship in Mohs Micrographic Surgery completed by Dr. Dorsey was under the direction of ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... As a ... Magna Cum Laude and his M.D from the David Geffen School of Medicine at ... returned to Los Angeles to complete his fellowship in hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... A recent ... that most people are unfamiliar with. The article goes on to state that individuals ... also many of these less common operations such as calf and cheek reduction. The ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... Dublin ... of the " Global Markets for Spectroscopy Equipment" ... This report focuses on the global ... including its applications in various applications. The report deals ... three main industries: pharmaceutical and biotechnology, food and beverage, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Research and Markets has announced the ... Tests" report to their offering. ... The World Market for Companion Diagnostics covers the ... analysis in the report includes the following: ... Kits) by Region (N. America, EU, ROW), 2015-2020 , ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- MedSource announced today that it has selected Datatrial,s ... choice.  This latest decision demonstrates MedSource,s commitment to ... by offering a state-of-the-art electronic data capture (EDC) ... the EDC platform of choice in exchange for ... long been a preferred EDC platform by our ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: