Feeling Anxious or Negative? Blame Your Brain


Feeling Anxious or Negative? Blame Your Brain

A region in the brain called the Inferior Frontal Cortex regulates our thoughts and emotions

The brain plays an important role in maintaining our physical and mental health. A lot of how we feel and respond depends on the functions of the brain. According to researchers from the University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign, adults who have a small structure are more likely to suffer from anxiety and be biased towards negative thoughts. The findings was published in journal Social Cognitive and Effective Neuroscience.

In their study, researchers talk about a particular region in the brain called the Inferior Frontal Cortex (IFC). It is a brain region behind the temples that helps regulate our thoughts and emotions. The study indicates the people who have a smaller Inferior Frontal Cortex have a tendency of being anxious and negative. They may also tend to view neutral or even positive events in a negative light. On the other hand, those who have a larger Inferior Frontal Cortex have lower levels of anxiety and may seem to be more positive and calm in any given situation.

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People who have a smaller volume IFC have higher levels of anxiety

For the study, experts analysed 62 students, collected brain structural data from neuro-imaging scans and used standard questionnaires to determine their level of anxiety and predilection for negative bias. Interestingly, researchers discovered major differences in the brains of young adults who were healthy otherwise.  Their findings also found that the relationship between the size of the Inferior Frontal Cortex and a person’s negative bias was mediated by their level of anxiety.

The study concluded that people who have a smaller volume IFC have higher levels of anxiety while those who have larger IFCs tend to have lower levels of anxiety. Anxiety disorders can cause a lot of distress and disrupt your daily life. If not controlled, they may lead to severe mental illnesses.

The researchers believe that by understanding the relation between the brain structure, function and personality traits scientists can develop interventions to target specific brain regions to deal with several mental health problems.