Washington: A new study has revealed that if people are reminded of being loved and cared then their brain's response to treat reduces significantly.
Study from the University of Exeter has found that when individuals are briefly presented pictures of others receiving emotional support and affection, the brain's threat monitor, the amygdala, subsequently does not respond to images showing threatening facial expressions or words. This occurred even if the person was not paying attention to the content of the first pictures.
The study suggested that being reminded of being loved and cared for dampens the threat response and may allow more effective functioning during, and activation of soothing resources after, stressful situations. This was particularly true for more anxious individuals.
Following these results, researchers at the University of Exeter are also running research studies measuring body (heart rate, sweat response) and brain (electrical brain waves measured by EEG) responses to understand related mechanisms in different populations such as highly self-critical individuals, individuals with depression and survivors of psychological trauma such as severe car accidents, assaults and natural disasters.
The study is published in the journal Social, Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience.