For some people a single small irritation can wreck their entire day, while others can swiftly shake off minor problems and move on. A new study led by researchers from the University of Miami is suggesting persistent activity in the amygdala could be why some people are unable to quickly move on from momentary negative experiences.
"The majority of human neuroscience research looks at how intensely the brain reacts to negative stimuli, not how long the brain holds on to a stimulus," explains Aaron Heller, psychologist and senior author on the new study. "We looked at the spillover – how the emotional coloring of an event spills over to other things that happen. Understanding the biological mechanisms of that is critically important to understanding the differences in brain function, daily emotions, and well-being.