Monday, May 20, 2013

Emotional Self-Control

According to a study from the UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience and Ghent University, emotional self-control uses a different brain system than being told how to respond emotionally. To conduct the study, the scientists showed 15 women scary or disturbing pictures. The subjects were given the choice to express the emotion or suppress it. The scientists scanned the brain using fMRI and compared it to another activity. In this activity the subjects were instructed whether to express or suppress the emotion. They found that different parts of the brain were used when expressing or suppressing an emotion. This study could bring about potential therapy methods, since we have greater insight in how to manage one's emotions. Also, this may help people be able to distance themselves from extreme emotions, but it might lead to difficulty responding with appropriate emotions in a given situation. 

1.Science is Collaborative- many scientists gathered to make this happen, and fifteen subjects had to be willing to participate.
2.Science is based on evidence- this is based on fMRI scans, the visible proof.
3.Science is subject to debate- It states in the article that "Most studies of emotion processing in the brain simply assume that people passively receive emotional stimuli and automatically feel the corresponding emotion," and this study might have evidence that we can rise above some emotions.


  1. This was interesting. I had never thought of this. It would be intersting to see if this holds true for males as well.

  2. I thought that this was really cool! I think it would be really cool if exercieses and other methods come out to help us better control our emotions. Of course, this would be a result of this research. I found this article about emotional pain: I think that this article was interesting because they looked at subjects' brains when they were excluded from an activity. When they were excluded it registered in their brains. In a different experiment, it was proven that the chemical that helps respond to a physical or emotional pain is present longer when people are hurt emotionally. This is becuase it takes more time for them to recover.

  3. See for further information on achieving greater emotional flexibility and resilience.