Navigation Links
'Worry' Spot in Brain Found

But anxiety could be helpful in long run, researchers note

FRIDAY, April 11 (HealthDay News) -- Stanford researchers report that worrying about something before it happens might do more than just create knots in your stomach.

They found that people who seemed to have higher levels of "anticipatory worry" -- judged by brain scans of activity in a part of the brain known as the anterior insula -- did better in a financial game, said study author Gregory Samanez-Larkin, a psychology graduate student at Stanford.

If the anterior insula was more active, the subjects had "a higher fidelity when it comes to making economic decisions," said Samanez-Larkin. "They were better at predicting what might happen." These volunteers learned to avoid losses when playing the same game months later, he noted.

"I wouldn't call it intelligence," he said. Instead, "it's a sort of expertise."

The anterior insula is a region buried deep inside the brain that's considered an artifact of humans' reptilian heritage. "At the very basic level, it has something to do with sensing danger or monitoring danger," explained Rajesh Miranda, an associate professor at Texas A & M Health Science Center.

But researchers haven't spent too much time on that region, because they prefer brain regions that are easier to access and understand, he said.

In the new study, Samanez-Larkin and colleagues recruited 23 subjects to play a financial game while scanners measured their brain activity. Eight to 10 months later, the subjects returned and played a similar game, although their brains weren't scanned.

The researchers then tried to find links between the brain scans and how the subjects performed in the games. "We looked in the brain for readings that were active while people were anticipating losses" in the game, Samanez-Larkin said.

The results were published in the April issue of Psychological Science.

Miranda said the study doesn't add much to existing knowledge. "It seems like it deals essentially with what's been known," he said.

Still, expanded knowledge about that particular brain region could lead to better treatments for anxiety and help researchers predict who might do a better job of handling stress, Miranda said.

Samanez-Larkin said the research could also be used to detect people who are most likely to get too many credit cards and fall into debt or fall victim to scams, because they aren't adept at processing financial information. "You could identify people who are susceptible to things like this and try to help them," he said.

More information

Check out images of various brain regions at

SOURCES: Gregory Samanez-Larkin, graduate student, Stanford University, Palo Alto, Calif.; Rajesh C. Miranda, Ph.D., associate professor, Texas A&M Health Science Center, College Station; April 2008, Psychological Science

Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Should You Worry About Mercury Poisoning? Find out in the March Issue of Natural Solutions - Now on Newsstands
2. When Worry Consumes You
3. Precancerous Breast Lesions Cause Unnecessary Worry
4. Defib Wire Warning Shouldnt Worry Most Users: Experts
5. New regulatory circuit identified for aggressive, malignant brain tumor
6. Data-handling technique finds genes to be team players in curbing brain cancer cell growth
7. Fetal Exposure to Substance Abuse Changes Brain Structure
8. Lowering Blood Pressure Improves Brain Hemorrhage Outcomes
9. Unlocking mysteries of brain cancer, stroke
10. Hospital Clinic awarded by CEREBRA Foundation for its excellence in early diagnosis of brain damage
11. Brain DNA remodeled in alcoholism
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
'Worry' Spot in Brain Found
(Date:11/30/2015)... , ... November 30, 2015 , ... RoamRight, a leading ... with Public Television’s Travel With Kids to promote family vacations around ... family as they explore international destinations and educate families about the people and places ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... Advocare Orthopedic ... orthopedic care. Led by John Vitolo, M.D., the center offers their patients ... team at Advocare Orthopedic & Sports Medicine is ready to help their patients ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... International telepathology consultations ... and KingMed Diagnostics researchers. Their review of more than 1,500 ... UPMC pathologists resulted in significantly altered treatment plans for more than half of ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... The American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) announced ... Day 2015. On Nov. 30, ASCP shared its “Give a minute. Get tested. Find ... and the importance of getting tested for HIV. , ASCP has asked members to ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... ... An inventor from Charlottesville, Va., is concerned about the need for peace and ... due to loud noises," she said, "so I decided that there needs to be ... radio waves and microwaves." , The baby BABY MUFF prevents loud noises, radio waves ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2015)... Texas , Nov. 30, 2015  Hanger, Inc. ... amendment and restatement of the terms of its previously ... Solicitation") relating to its $200,000,000 aggregate principal amount 7⅛% ... other things, (i) the consent fees payable pursuant to ... on the Notes and (iii) the expiration date of ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... NAMUR , Belgium , Nov. 30, ... life sciences company focused on developing blood-based diagnostic tests for ... announced the Company will present at the LD Micro Conference, ... Los Angeles, CA. Attending from VolitionRx will ... and Scott Powell , Vice President of Investor Relations. ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... , November 30, 2015 PFE ... at up to 10 G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) targets ... to research and develop potential new medicines directed at ... multiple therapeutic areas. --> Heptares Therapeutics ("Heptares"), ... and wholly-owned subsidiary of Sosei Group Corporation ("Sosei"; TSE ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: