Skip Navigation

BrainFacts.org

A PUBLIC INFORMATION
INITIATIVE OF:

  • Kavli
  • Gatsby
  • SfN

Tali Sharot: The Optimism Bias

Tali Sharot studies why our brains are biased toward optimism.

More »

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

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.

Aggression and the Brain

Source: Society for Neuroscience
When most people think of aggression, they think of road rage, physical fights, and violent crime. However, not all aggression is bad.

Mood in the News

Unhappy Marriages Due to Low Blood Sugar?

Source: Science
Date: 14 April 2014
A new study suggests that low levels of glucose in the blood may increase anger and aggression between spouses.

Why Chocolate Really is the Secret to Happiness

Source: The Washington Post
Date: 7 April 2014
Chocolate is the world’s most widely consumed psychoactive drug: 1, 3, 7-trimethylxanthine by name. 

What Makes Teens Terrible: Scientists Find Brain 'Disconnect' Causes Emotional Outbursts and Bad Behaviour

Source: Daily Mail
Date: 1 April 2014
During adolescence, the limbic system connects and communicates with the rest of the brain differently than it does during adulthood, scientists found.