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The Chemistry of Fear

What happens in the brain when we are frightened?

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Tali Sharot: The Optimism Bias

Tali Sharot studies why our brains are biased toward optimism.

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Introduction

Why do some people let troubles roll off their shoulders, while others dwell on each problem? New imaging, genetic, and biochemical research is helping provide the answer. Researchers are examining mood and emotion with scientific rigor, which could one day lead to greater understanding of the biology of anger, happiness, and love. Recent studies explore how aggressive animals differ from docile ones and how animals that mate for life differ from those that seek multiple mates. In people, imaging studies are identifying the brain regions associated with laughter, love, and aggression. Ongoing studies could shed light on disorders that affect mood, including psychiatric conditions such as depression, euphoria, and bipolar disorder.

Discoveries

No Laughing (Gray) Matter: Laughter, the Brain, and Evolution

Source: Society for Neuroscience
Researchers are studying what happens in the brains of people and other animals when laughing to gain deeper insight into human behavior and its evolution.

Love in the Lab: How Scientists Study Affection

Source: Society for Neuroscience
Research in animals and humans is helping to identify brain processes that are active when people are “in love.”

The Power of the Placebo

Source: Society for Neuroscience
As many as one in three patients report feeling better after receiving a drug that has no active ingredients.

Mood in the News

Everyone's Brain Generates Emotions The Same Way

Source: Inside Science
Date: 23 July 2014
A jug of wine, a loaf of bread and coding come together in the prefrontal cortex.

How the Colour-Blind See Art With Different Eyes

Source: BBC
Date: 20 June 2014

The subject of colour blindness is tackled in an interactive part of an exhibition devoted to the science behind colour vision.


Laughing Makes Your Brain Work Better, New Study Finds

Source: ABC
Date: 20 April 2014
In a recent small study, older adults watched a funny video distraction-free for 20 minutes, while a control group sat calmly with no video.