17.2 C
New York
Saturday, April 10, 2021

Disagreeing Takes up a Lot of Brain Real Estate | Nutrition Fit


Summary: When people agree, their brains display synchrony of activity in sensory areas. When they disagree, may other brain regions associated with cognitive function become active.

Source: Yale

Yale researchers have devised a way to peer into the brains of two people simultaneously while are engaged in discussion. What they found will not surprise anyone who has found themselves arguing about politics or social issues.

When two people agree, their brains exhibit a calm synchronicity of activity focused on sensory areas of the brain. When they disagree, however, many other regions of the brain involved in higher cognitive functions become mobilized as each individual combats the other’s argument, a Yale-led research team reports Jan. 13 in the journal Frontiers of Human Neuroscience.

“Our entire brain is a social processing network,” said senior author Joy Hirsch, the Elizabeth Mears and House Jameson Professor of Psychiatry and professor of comparative medicine and neuroscience. “However, it just takes a lot more brain real estate to disagree than to agree.”

For the study, the researchers from Yale and the University College London recruited 38 adults who were asked to say whether they agreed or disagreed with a series of statements such as “same-sex marriage is a civil right” or “marijuana should be legalized.” After matching up pairs based on their responses the researchers used an imaging technology called functional near-infrared spectroscopy to record their brain activity while they engaged in face-to-face discussions.

READ  Stress Reduction as a Path to Eating Less Fast Food | Nutrition Fit

When the people were in agreement, brain activity was harmonious and tended to be concentrated on sensory areas of the brain such as the visual system, presumably in response to social cues from their partner. However, during disputes these areas of the brain were less active. Meanwhile, activity increased in the brain’s frontal lobes, home of higher order executive functions.

“There is a synchronicity between the brains when we agree,” Hirsch said. “But when we disagree, the neural coupling disconnects.”

Understanding how our brains function while disagreeing or agreeing is particularly important in a polarized political environment, Hirsch noted.

READ  A Healthy Sense of Disgust Can Prevent Sickness | Nutrition Fit
This shows a couple who appear to be mad at eachother
When two people agree, their brains exhibit a calm synchronicity of activity focused on sensory areas of the brain. Image is in the public domain

In discord, she said, two brains engage many emotional and cognitive resources “like a symphony orchestra playing different music.” In agreement, there “is less cognitive engagement and more social interaction between brains of the talkers, similar to a musical duet.”

See also

This shows a man in a mask

The lead investigator of the paper is Alex Salama-Manteau, a former graduate student of economics at Yale and now a data scientist at Airbnb. Mark Tiede, a research scientist at the Haskins Laboratory at Yale, is second author of the paper.

About this neuroscience research news

Source: Yale
Contact: Bess Connolly – Yale
Image: The image is in the public domain

Original Research: The study will appear in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience




Source link

Related Articles

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Stay Connected

21,780FansLike
2,737FollowersFollow
SubscribersSubscribe
- Advertisement -

Latest Articles

Read previous post:
How Long Does It Take for a Muscle Strain to Heal?
How Do I Get Rid of My Baby’s Moro Reflex?

What is moro reflex? Babies are born with several reflexes, one of the most important is the Moro reflex. In...

Close