Research into staying young

This new research says that aging successfully is simple – just focus on the positive. This will help us stay mentally alert and resillient.

Dr Stefanie Brassen and colleagues, who did the research in connection with Hamburg University, found that successful ageing came down to staying positive by seeking the positive.

MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) was used to study participants anterior cingulate cortex - the part of the brain that controls emotion - as they viewed faces with different expressions and it was found that people preferred happy faces.

Conclusions of the research:
"The current study highlights how the brain might mediate the tendency to preferentially engage in positive information processing in healthy aging. The finding of a resource-dependency of this positivity effect suggests demanding self-regulating processes that are related to emotional well-being. These findings are of particular relevance regarding implications for the understanding, treatment, and prevention of nonsuccessful aging like highly prevalent late-life depression."*

*“Anterior Cingulate Activation Is Related to a Positivity Bias and Emotional Stability in Successful Aging” by Stefanie Brassen, Matthias Gamer, and Christian Büchel. Department of Systems Neuroscience, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany. Article in Biological Psychiatry, Volume 70, Number 2 (July 1, 2011), published by Elsevier.

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