Monday, October 19, 2009

Taking it lying down...

Many cognitive neuroscience measurements are made on subjects who are supine, as for example in an MRI scanner. Given that body postures can affect behaviors (as when slumped postures lead to more 'helpless' behaviors, or erect posture with chest protruding enhances confident behavior) Harmon-Jones and Peterson compared the brain responses of subjects to anger-inducing insults while in either an upright or reclined position . It is know that left prefrontal cortex is more activated than the right prefrontal cortex during the experience of anger, particularly anger associated with approach motivational inclinations. They found, consistent with an embodied motivation prediction, that a insult delivered to subjects in an upright condition produced greater relative left lateral frontal activity than insults in a reclined condition - which produced about the same relative left lateral frontal activity as the neutral-upright condition.

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