Navigation Links
Social Status Plays Role in Brain's Control of Health

Imaging shows where you are in pecking order affects performance, motivation

THURSDAY, April 24 (HealthDay News) -- New information about how the brain processes social status is outlined in a study by researchers at the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).

Using functional MRI scans, they found that different brain areas are activated when a person moves up or down in social status or sees people who are socially superior or inferior. Brain circuitry activated by important events responded to potential change in social status as much as it did to winning money.

The study was published in the April 24 issue of Neuron.

"Our position in social hierarchies strongly influences motivation as well as physical and mental health. This first glimpse into how the brain processes that information advances our understanding of an important factor that can impact public health," NIMH Director Dr. Thomas R. Insel said in a prepared statement.

Previous research has shown that social status has a strong effect on health. For example, one study of British civil servants found that the lower a person's rank, the more likely they were to develop cardiovascular disease and die early. Psychological effects, such as having limited control over one's life and interactions with others, may be one way that lower social rank compromises health, according to background information in a news release about the study.

The NIMH researchers created an artificial social hierarchy in which 72 volunteers played an interactive computer game for money. The participants were assigned a social status and were told it was based on their playing skill. However, the game outcomes were predetermined, and the other "players" were simulated by computer.

While their brain activity was monitored by fMRI, the volunteers intermittently saw pictures and scores of inferior and superior "players" they believed were playing in other rooms at the same time. The fMRI showed that the participants' perceived position in the gaming hierarchy greatly influenced their brain activity and behavior.

"The processing of hierarchical information seems to be hard-wired, occurring even outside of an explicitly competitive environment, underscoring how important it is for us," said study author Caroline Zink, of the NIHM Genes Cognition and Psychosis Program.

More information

For more on the parts of the human brain, visit the National Institute on Aging.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: U.S. National Institute of Mental Health, news release, April 23, 2008

Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Social form of bullying linked to depression, anxiety in adults
2. Social Workers Honor William C. Bell with the International Rhoda G. Sarnat Award
3. Rik Deitsch, CEO of Nutra Pharma Creates Personal Wall on WallSt.nets Financial Social Community,
4. Older Americans are more socially engaged than many people may think
5. Joint Center Sees Social Determinants of Health as Key to Reducing Disparities at Annual Fund-raising Gala
6. 15 Million Americans Suffer From Social Anxiety Disorder
7. Animal Study Links Social Standing With Drug Use Risk
8. 2008 Social Security Report Offers Dire Warning
9. Social Problems in Youth Contribute to Anxiety, Depression
10. Pelosi Statement on Social Security and Medicare Trustees Reports
11. Blunt: Trustees Report is a Reminder of Medicare and Social Security Crisis
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Social Status Plays Role in Brain's Control of Health
(Date:10/13/2017)... , ... October 13, 2017 , ... Many families have ... many long-term care insurance companies have a waiver for care if the client has ... period, when the family pays for care, is often waived, so the benefits from ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... ... Yisrayl Hawkins, Pastor and Overseer at The House of Yahweh, has released a ... books in the Holy Scriptures, Revelation. The Book of Revelation paints a picture of ... have tossed it off as mere rubbish, but Yisrayl Hawkins says that is because ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... “America On ... Christian identity. “America On The Brink” is the creation of published author, William ... several great-grandchildren. As a WWII veteran, he spent thirty years in the Navy. ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... The company ... of today’s consumer and regulatory authorities worldwide. From Children’s to Adults 50+, every ... meet the highest standard. , These products are also: Gluten Free, Non-GMO, ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Information about the technology: , Otomagnetics has ... prevention of a major side effect of chemotherapy in children. Cisplatin and carboplatin ... cisplatin, hearing loss is FDA listed on-label as a dose limiting toxicity. Hearing ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/27/2017)... , Sept. 27, 2017  DarioHealth Corp. (NASDAQ: DRIO), a leading ... announced that its MyDario product is expected to appear on The Dr. ... The Dr. Oz Show airs in your area: ... The nine-time Emmy award-winning, The Dr. Oz Show ... The segment ...
(Date:9/22/2017)... , Sept. 22, 2017 AVACEN Medical (AVACEN) ... is now successfully helping those with the widespread pain ... Fibromyalgia diagnosed Amanda in Essex, England ... washing my hair, experiencing no sleep at all, tremendous ... spasm… I cannot recommend [the AVACEN 100] enough, how ...
(Date:9/13/2017)... has been named the official orthopedic and sports medicine ... 2018 College Football Playoff (CFP) National Championship to be played ... Atlanta, Georgia . OrthoAtlanta is proud to be ... many activities leading up to, and including the national championship ... OrthoAtlanta serves ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: