Navigation Links
Study cracks how the brain processes emotions
Date:7/9/2014

ITHACA, N.Y. Although feelings are personal and subjective, the human brain turns them into a standard code that objectively represents emotions across different senses, situations and even people, reports a new study by Cornell University neuroscientist Adam Anderson.

"We discovered that fine-grained patterns of neural activity within the orbitofrontal cortex, an area of the brain associated with emotional processing, act as a neural code which captures an individual's subjective feeling," says Anderson, associate professor of human development in Cornell's College of Human Ecology and senior author of the study. "Population coding of affect across stimuli, modalities and individuals," published online in Nature Neuroscience.

Their findings provide insight into how the brain represents our innermost feelings what Anderson calls the last frontier of neuroscience and upend the long-held view that emotion is represented in the brain simply by activation in specialized regions for positive or negative feelings, he says.

"If you and I derive similar pleasure from sipping a fine wine or watching the sun set, our results suggest it is because we share similar fine-grained patterns of activity in the orbitofrontal cortex," Anderson says.

"It appears that the human brain generates a special code for the entire valence spectrum of pleasant-to-unpleasant, good-to-bad feelings, which can be read like a 'neural valence meter' in which the leaning of a population of neurons in one direction equals positive feeling and the leaning in the other direction equals negative feeling," Anderson explains.

For the study, the researchers presented participants with a series of pictures and tastes during functional neuroimaging, then analyzed participants' ratings of their subjective experiences along with their brain activation patterns.

Anderson's team found that valence was represented as sensory-specific patterns or codes in areas of the brain associated with vision and taste, as well as sensory-independent codes in the orbitofrontal cortices (OFC), suggesting, the authors say, that representation of our internal subjective experience is not confined to specialized emotional centers, but may be central to perception of sensory experience.

They also discovered that similar subjective feelings whether evoked from the eye or tongue resulted in a similar pattern of activity in the OFC, suggesting the brain contains an emotion code common across distinct experiences of pleasure (or displeasure), they say. Furthermore, these OFC activity patterns of positive and negative experiences were partly shared across people.

"Despite how personal our feelings feel, the evidence suggests our brains use a standard code to speak the same emotional language," Anderson concludes.


'/>"/>

Contact: Melissa Osgood
mmo59@cornell.edu
607-255-2059
Cornell University
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. MyChart use skyrocketing among cancer patients, UT Southwestern study finds
2. Study predicts ranavirus as potential new culprit in amphibian extinctions
3. Study of dermatology on YouTube shows new ways science reaches public
4. Penn study finds living kidney donation does not increase risk of death or heart disease for older
5. Fit for the frontline? New study identifies the hearing requirements of British soldiers
6. Study finds kidney donation safe for healthy older adults
7. NCI study finds extreme obesity may shorten life expectancy up to 14 years
8. Study shows link between inflammation in maternal blood and schizophrenia in offspring
9. Study reveals protective role for specialized cells in intestinal and respiratory systems
10. Infant toenails reveal in utero exposure to low-level arsenic, Dartmouth study finds
11. $12.6 million NIH grant to study genetics of Alzheimers disease
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Study cracks how the brain processes emotions
(Date:2/11/2016)... ... February 11, 2016 , ... The book, “Computers Should Just Work!”, provides a ... ask your IT consultant before signing a contract and how to spot an incompetent ... companies relying heavily on e-mail and technology, it’s more important than ever to make ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... President Obama’s ... Advantage organizations to deliver medical services via telehealth, estimated to generate more than ... for such language for many years. Although there is more to be ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... 10, 2016 , ... Early this week, Team Iconic at J. Walter Thompson ... as the first global confectionery brand sourced from 100% sustainable cocoa. , The Nestlé ... their product, through activities that focus on better farming, better lives and better cocoa. ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... 10, 2016 , ... Western University of Health Sciences and ... developmentally disabled in the Coachella Valley. , The two entities, through an expanded ... Highway 111, Suite 100-B, in Rancho Mirage, California. The new site has 11 ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... ... (VRI) within Healthcare, recently partnered with Heart City Health Center to ... nearly 23 years, Heart City Health Center has provided the Elkhart community with ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/10/2016)... February 11, 2016 ... the "Molecular Diagnostics Reports Bundle" ... http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/rp4pg8/molecular ) has announced the addition of ... report to their offering. --> ... announced the addition of the "Molecular ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... SUNNYVALE, Calif. , Feb. 10, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... Warren Kocmond , formerly Executive Vice President ... the position of President and Chief Operating Officer.  ... been expanded, and now include Global Commercial Operations ... and Customer Service.  Mr. Kocmond will continue to ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... , February 10, 2016 --> --> ... Japan .  --> Japan .  --> A ... With submission, Shire continues to strengthen ... With submission, Shire continues to strengthen its presence ... submission, Shire continues to strengthen its presence ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: