Researchers have discovered a new brain region involved in regulating how well we can control our emotions, a finding that could shed light on the human nervous system and possibly help doctors predict when to give someone a sedative or other medication.
The finding, reported in the journal NeuroImage, suggests that the prefrontal cortex, a part of the brain responsible for emotion regulation, is more active during periods of emotional distress than we would expect.
In a paper published on Thursday in the Journal of Neuroscience, researchers at University of Oxford and the University of Helsinki said they had identified the brain region, called the insula, as being activated during emotional responses.
The insula is involved in processing sensory information and the process of regulating emotions, including when we feel we are being hurt, said lead author Professor John Collins.
“If we are going to do any meaningful work with emotion, it’s really important that we understand the mechanisms of what we are experiencing, how it’s being processed, and how that affects us,” he said.
“What we have found is that the insular cortex is involved with processing of emotional information.”
This is a really important brain area because we have a lot of data that suggests that when you have a high-level emotion, like sadness, we experience a very high level of brain activity.
“In other words, it makes sense that the emotion would be associated with higher brain activity when you are experiencing sadness.”
The findings suggest that there may be some connections between the brain’s brain regions, and they could shed new light on how emotions are processed and how they affect our wellbeing.
The researchers also looked at brain activity in people with anxiety and depression, who also had the disorder.
They found that there were brain areas in the insulae that were activated during the emotional response, but they also found that the activity was associated with brain activity associated with sadness and anxiety.
Professor Collins said this finding could shed more light on when it makes more sense to treat a person with anxiety or depression rather than treating them with an antidepressant or sedative.
“We think that depression and anxiety disorders are a very different disorder to anxiety and sadness, because in anxiety you have an increase in anxiety-related processes,” he explained.
“But in depression, you have the same processes, but there’s an increase of a negative emotion and an increase on anxiety.”
He said it was also important to keep in mind that there is a range of different levels of activity in the brain, and this could lead to different results.
“It’s important that you don’t try to treat someone with depression or anxiety with a particular medication or a particular kind of therapy, and try to think of it as one,” he added.
“The insulas are involved in many different processes.”
So we think that it’s very important to understand what happens in the prefrontal region of the human brain, because that’s probably one of the areas that’s important to understanding how we process emotions, and that is the prefrontal regions.
“The study, which involved more than 50 healthy volunteers, involved functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), a brain scanning technique that allows scientists to see changes in brain activity as people are exposed to a stimulus.
The study involved using fMRI to record activity in both the insulus and the insularity in the left insula.
The team then took functional magnetic recordings of the brains of people who were tested with and without a depression diagnosis.
They found that people with a depression diagnoses had lower activity in a brain area known as the insulo-parietal junction, which is involved at the junction between the frontal and temporal lobes of the cerebral cortex.”
These results are consistent with the idea that depression has a direct effect on the brain and that these brain regions may be more involved in depression than we might initially think,” Professor Collins said.