Saturday 01 November, 2014

Brains use standard code to speak same emotional language

Published On: Thu, Jul 10th, 2014 | Neurobiology | By BioNews

Know why partners derive similar pleasure from sipping a fine wine or watching their favourite game? It is because they share similar “fine-grained patterns of activity” in the brain.

Although innermost feelings are personal, human brain turns them into a standard code that represents emotions across different senses, situations and even people, a promising study reveals.

“It appears that the human brain generates a special code for pleasant-to-unpleasant, good-to-bad feelings, like a ‘neural valence meter’,” explained neuroscientist Adam Anderson from Cornell University.

For the study, researchers presented participants with a series of pictures and tastes during functional neuroimaging.

They analysed participants’ ratings of their subjective experiences along with their brain activation patterns.

Researchers discovered that the brain contains an emotion code common across distinct experiences of pleasure (or displeasure).

Furthermore, these OFC activity patterns of positive and negative experiences were partly shared across people.

“Despite how personal our feelings feel, the evidence suggests our brains use a standard code to speak the same emotional language,” Anderson concluded in a paper published online in the journal Nature Neuroscience.

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