Navigation Links
Losing money, emotions and evolution
Date:6/12/2012

Financial loss can lead to irrational behavior. Now, research by Weizmann Institute scientists reveals that the effects of loss go even deeper: Loss can compromise our early perception and interfere with our grasp of the true situation. The findings, which recently appeared in the Journal of Neuroscience, may also have implications for our understanding of the neurological mechanisms underlying post-traumatic stress disorder.

The experiment was conducted by Dr. Rony Paz and research student Offir Laufer of the Neurobiology Department. Subjects underwent a learning process based on classic conditioning and involving money. They were asked to listen to a series of tones composed of three different notes. After hearing one note, they were told they had earned a certain sum; after a second note, they were informed that they had lost some of their money; and a third note was followed by the message that their bankroll would remain the same. According to the findings, when a note was tied to gain, or at least to no loss, the subjects improved over time in a learned task distinguishing that note from other, similar notes. But when they heard the "lose money" note, they actually got worse at telling one from the other.

Functional MRI (fMRI) scans of the brain areas involved in the learning process revealed an emotional aspect: The amygdala, which is tied to emotions and reward, was strongly involved. The researchers also noted activity in another area in the front of the brain, which functions to moderate the emotional response. Subjects who exhibited stronger activity in this area showed less of a drop in their abilities to distinguish between tones.

Paz: "The evolutionary origins of that blurring of our ability to discriminate are positive: If the best response to the growl of a lion is to run quickly, it would be counterproductive to distinguish between different pitches of growl. Any similar sound should make us flee without thinking. Unfortunately, that same blurring mechanism can be activated today in stress-inducing situations that are not life-threatening like losing money and this can harm us."

That harm may even be quite serious: For instance, it may be involved in post-traumatic stress disorder. If sufferers are unable to distinguish between a stimulus that should cause a panic response and similar, but non-threatening, stimuli, they may experience strong emotional reactions in inappropriate situations.

This perceptional blurring may even expand over time to encompass a larger range of stimuli. Paz intends to investigate this possibility in future research.


'/>"/>

Contact: Yivsam Azgad
news@weizmann.ac.il
972-893-43856
Weizmann Institute of Science
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Diabetes Can Take a Toll on Your Emotions
2. New Clues to the Evolution of the Human Brain
3. Evolution May Explain Runners High, Study Says
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:12/10/2016)... ... 2016 , ... The Pennsylvania Athletic Trainers’ Society (PATS) continues ... healthcare organizations to promote diabetes education at the World Diabetes Day observance. The ... speakers from around the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Speakers included Dr. Renu Joshi ...
(Date:12/10/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... December 10, 2016 , ... When faced ... worried about germs spreading from the seat to her body, and contamination of children ... and effective way to solve this problem that many people face. , The patent-pending ...
(Date:12/9/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... December 09, 2016 , ... ... planning assistance from offices in Pasco and Richland, is initiating a charity drive ... serious injuries resulting from a recent automobile collision. , On October 29th ...
(Date:12/9/2016)... Cincinnati, Ohio (PRWEB) , ... December 09, 2016 ... ... production of miniature, folded, pharmaceutical inserts and outserts. As a means of ... This addition will enable Flottman to individually code professional inserts (PIs) and ...
(Date:12/9/2016)... ... 2016 , ... The Justin Veatch Fund announced Thursday that ... film Whispering Spirits and its discussion guide for use by all of ... in the war against teen drug abuse. NCADD is the oldest anti-addiction advocacy ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/8/2016)... Australia Ophthalmic Lasers Market Outlook to 2022 Summary ... to 2022", provides key market data on the Australia ... of US dollars, volume (in units) and average prices ... and YAG Lasers. The report also provides company ... market segements, and global corporate-level profiles of the key ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... Dec. 8, 2016  The global biosurgery market is ... the forecast period of 2016 to 2021. The market ... from USD 18.21 billion in 2016. The market is ... of sports related injuries and spinal problems, increasing clearance ... of effective blood loss management. In this ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... Dec. 8, 2016 KEY FINDINGS ... share of the market in 2016 and is expected ... be attributed to a large number of surgical procedures ... the largest share in the patient temperature management market.) ... as reducing loss of blood during surgeries, lowering the ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: