Emo­tion-con­trol? Easy

The Jewish Chronicle - - WORLD NEWS - BY ROSA DO­HERTY

RE­SEARCHERS FROM Ben Gu­rion Univer­sity in Beer­sheva have dis­cov­ered a way to pos­i­tively in­flu­ence the way we man­age neg­a­tive emo­tional re­ac­tions.

Thanks to sim­ple brain-train­ing ex­er­cises on a com­puter, Noga Co­hen, the au­thor of the study, found that peo­ple can be taught to ig­nore ir­rel­e­vant in­for­ma­tion, min­imis­ing re­ac­tions to emo­tive events.

In the study, re­cently pub­lished in the jour­nal Neu­roI­mage, 26 healthy adults were asked to per­form nonemo­tional train­ing tasks fo­cused on im­prov­ing their abil­ity to ig­nore ir­rel- evant in­for­ma­tion. Their brains were mon­i­tored as they were asked to iden­tify whether a tar­get ar­row pointed to the right or the left, ig­nor­ing the di­rec­tions of other ar­rows around it.

Then the par­tic­i­pants were asked to ig­nore emo­tive pic­tures with neg­a­tive con­no­ta­tions.

Us­ing func­tional magnetic res­o­nance imag­ing scans, re­searchers as­sessed the con­nec­tions be­tween dif­fer­ent re­gions of the brain dur­ing both ex­er­cises.

Dr Co­hen said she hoped the re­search would “lead to fur­ther test­ing and po­ten­tially the de­vel­op­ment of in­ter­ven­tion for in­di­vid­u­als suf­fer­ing from mal­adap­tive emo­tional be­hav­iour”.

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