Scientists rejoice in finding a reliable way to predict negative human emotions through the discovery of a unique brain signature. Hypnotherapists rejoice when a client responds to positive active mind management; i.e. using the power of a positive mindset. That said, a positive mindset is more than the mere presence of positive thinking; it's as much about the absence of negative subconscious processing! That much is consequential in and of the teaching and learning that happens during hypnosis . . .
From a therapeutic perspective, human behaviour is also quite predictable!
A Dartmouth researcher and his colleagues have discovered a way to predict human emotions based on brain activity. The study is unusual because of its accuracy -- more than 90 per cent -- and the large number of participants who reflect the general adult population rather than just college students. The findings could help in diagnosing and treating a range of mental and physical health conditions.
When thinking about how to relate this to hypnotherapy, I was a little stumped but then a thought occurred to me. Most research on the brain focuses on negative emotional or mental processes, which is obvious because they are looking for ways to make people's lives better. But that is also the aim of hypnotherapists and it never fails to amaze me how quickly someone's perception and the physical feelings, of life, can change! It is not uncommon, once this form of change happens, for clients to have greater and more frequent positive feelings. So, it seems that while there has proven to be a signature to measure negative brain activity, there is clearly a similar signature for positive brain activity and hypnosis is an excellent way to bring the changes you are looking for into fruition!
Hypnotherapy stands out as one of the most effective strategic life management methods there is, especially in its ability to promote clear thinking and good states of mental wellness. The behaviours that make life challenging are often a result of too much stress, too little or poor quality sleep and too little by way of mental and emotional clarity! So, to get or take back control of your mind and your life, it makes perfect sense to use a methodology that addresses the subconscious brain's role in perpetuating negative, vague and ambiguous states of mind. Hypnosis helps us to create calm relaxing states of mind that make life work better! If you would like to address any concerns you have in this direction, or, if you just want the ability to make your life feel better, then why not make an appointment for a Free Consultation? Hypnosis gives you the ability to have a good life!
My objective is to help people understand how and why we become illogically trapped into emotional experiences that may actually be happening but for reasons, we may never have imagined! If you want to know more about Hypnotherapy, why not make an appointment for a Free Consultation?
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The study appears in the journal PLOS Biology. "It's an impressive demonstration of imaging our feelings, of decoding our emotions from brain activity," says lead author Luke Chang, an assistant professor in Psychological and Brain Sciences at Dartmouth. "Emotions are central to our daily lives and emotional dysregulation is at the heart of many brain- and body-related disorders, but we don't have a clear understanding of how emotions are processed in the brain. Thus, understanding the neurobiological mechanisms that generate and reduce negative emotional experiences is paramount."
The quest to understand the "emotional brain" has motivated hundreds of neuroimaging studies in recent years. But for neuroimaging to be useful, sensitive and specific "brain signatures" must be developed that can be applied to individual people to yield information about their emotional experiences, neuropathology or treatment prognosis. Thus far, the neuroscience of emotion has yielded many important results but no such indicators for emotional experiences.
In their new study, the researchers' goals were to develop a brain signature that predicts the intensity of negative emotional responses to evocative images; to test the signature in generalizing across individual participants and images; to examine the signature's specificity related to pain, and to explore the neural circuitry necessary to predict negative emotional experience.
Chang and his colleagues studied 182 participants who were shown negative photos (bodily injuries, acts of aggression, hate groups, car wrecks, human faeces) and neutral photos. Thirty additional participants were also subjected to painful heat. Using brain imaging and machine learning techniques, the researchers identified a neural signature of negative emotion -- a single neural activation pattern distributed across the entire brain that accurately predicts how negative a person will feel after viewing unpleasant images.
"This means that brain imaging has the potential to accurately uncover how someone is feeling without knowing anything about them other than their brain activity," Chang says. "This has enormous implications for improving our understanding of how emotions are generated and regulated, which have been notoriously difficult to define and measure. In addition, these new types of neural measures may prove to be important in identifying when people are having abnormal emotional responses -- for example, too much or too little -- which might indicate broader issues with health and mental functioning."
Unlike most previous research, the new study included a large sample size that reflects the general adult population and not just young college students; used machine learning and statistics to develop a predictive model of emotion; and, most importantly, tested participants across multiple psychological states, which allowed researchers to assess the sensitivity and specificity of their brain model.
"We were particularly surprised by how well our pattern performed in predicting the magnitude and type of aversive experience," Chang says. "As scepticism for neuroimaging grows based on over-sold and -interpreted findings and failures to replicate based on small sizes, many neuroscientists might be surprised by how well our signature performed. Another surprising finding is that our emotional brain signature using lots of people performed better at predicting how a person was feeling than their own brain data. There is an intuition that feelings are very idiosyncratic and vary across people. However, because we trained the pattern using so many participants -- for example, four to 10 times the standard fMRI experiment -- we were able to uncover responses that generalized beyond the training sample to new participants remarkably well."
The above post is reprinted from materials provided by Dartmouth College. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.
Luke J. Chang, Peter J. Gianaros, Stephen B. Manuck, Anjali Krishnan, Tor D. Wager. A Sensitive and Specific Neural Signature for Picture-Induced Negative effect. PLOS Biology, 2015; 13 (6): e1002180 DOI: 10.1371/journal.bio.1002180