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BrainFacts.org

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

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

Source: LiveScience
Date: 17 Nov 2014
Humans may also have an emotional body map that corresponds to feelings of gentle touch, according to new research presented at the 44th annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience.
Source: TODAY.com
Date: 3 Oct 2014
A new study, using fMRI imaging, scanned the brains of mothers who looked at images of their dogs and their own children. They found the same areas of the brain, including reward centers, were activated with both.
Source: The Atlantic
Date: 23 Sept 2014
Gut bacteria play a role in mood and emotion. Are probiotics the key to a better antidepressant?
Read more about neuroscience core concepts for the U. S. National Science Education Standards.