Should we all be "taking life as it comes"?
It's good to be able to accept what there is. And although one does not need to apply this skill always or without moderation, it is one of the most important exercises for the human spirit.
There is a neurological link between serotonin levels and the brain's ability to control impulses and patience levels.
- Prior research has suggested a possible link between a lack of serotonin receptors in the brain and impulsive behaviors.
- A recent study from the Neural Computation Unit at the OIST explored this further, resulting in evidence that there is in fact a neurological factor to the brain's ability to control impulses and manage patience.
- This research could reveal more data on how serotonin impacts regions of the brain, which could eventually lead to the development of new drug treatments for conditions such as depression and addiction, among others.
Three areas of the brain can impact your patience and impulse control<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDkyNzM4NS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzOTU0MTY2N30.H4KxmhLt2KIOLn0QP_ipXIi5zKy8e-R-2c6ZDkEoCCk/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=2%2C0%2C3%2C0&height=700" id="9417b" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="1dd54d9f28f08f4d2c447cbb74caa4f5" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="neuron impulse control patience 3D rendering neurons" data-width="1245" data-height="700" />
What role does biology really play in our ability to be patient and control our impulses?
Credit: whitehoune on Adobe Stock<p>The Neural Computation Unit at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) ran the<a href="https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/6/48/eabc7246" target="_blank"> latest study</a>, which focused on three parts of the brain:</p><ol><li>NAc - nucleus accumbens, which has been previously studied as a key region in the brain that mediates a variety of behaviors, including reward and satisfaction.</li><li>OFC - orbitofrontal cortex, which is considered to have a role in higher-order cognition (like decision-making).</li><li>mPFC - medial prefrontal cortex, which is among the brain regions that have the highest baseline metabolic activity. This part of the brain is also suggested to mediate decision-making.</li></ol><p>According to <a href="https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/brain-regions-found-where-serotonin-boosts-patience-impulse-control#Serotonin,-patience,-and-the-brain" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Medical News Today</a>, the team chose these regions of the brain because prior research has shown that damage to them leads to an increase in impulsive behaviors. </p><p>The mice were later divided into groups; one group had the optic fibers in the NAc part of the brain, one group had the optic fibers inserted into the OFC part of the brain, and the last group had optic fibers put into the mPFC parts of the brain. The team then observed how each group responded to serotonin stimulation. </p><p>To take their research to the next level, the team used mice that were genetically engineered to have specialized proteins that release serotonin on exposure to photostimulation. The mice were trained to poke their nose inside a hole (to wait for a food item). Then, they underwent surgery in which researchers implanted an optic fiber into the DRN part of the brains of the mice.</p><p>Seventy-five perfect of the mice were put through the waiting task again while activating a serotonin release through a light stimulation procedure. The other 25 percent went into an "omission" group that received no rewards or serotonin stimulation. </p><p><strong>The results of this study prove serotonin plays a role in patience and impulse control.<br><br></strong>When the research team activated the serotonergic neurons in the DRN of the mice, they displayed improved patience when waiting for food rewards. Stimulating the OFC area was almost as effective as stimulating the DRN area in promoting these prolonged wait times in the mice. However, triggering the NAc had no impact.</p><p>A particularly interesting part of this study was that, upon stimulating the mPFC region of the brain in the mice, their ability to wait for the food reward was enhanced but only when they did not know the food's arrival time. These results suggest that serotonin in the mPFC can impact the animal's ability to evaluate the time required to wait for a reward. Meanwhile, the neurochemical's presence in the OFC assists in the overall assessment of a delayed reward. </p><p>"This confirmed the idea that these two brain areas are calculating the probability of a reward independently from each other and that these independent calculations are then combined to ultimately determine how long the mice will wait," Dr. Miyazaki told <a href="https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/brain-regions-found-where-serotonin-boosts-patience-impulse-control#Serotonin,-patience,-and-the-brain" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Medical News Today</a>.</p><p>This research could reveal more data on how serotonin impacts regions of the brain, which could eventually lead to the development of new drug treatments for conditions such as depression and addiction, among others.</p>
In some situations, asking "what if everyone did that?" is a common strategy for judging whether an action is right or wrong.
Researchers explore the "complex web of connections" in your brain that allows you to make split second decisions.
- Researchers at the University of Colorado discovered the cerebellum's role in split-second decision making.
- While it was previously thought that the cerebellum was in charge of these decisions, it's been uncovered that it is more like a "complex web of connections" through the brain that goes into how you make choices.
- If the decision is made within 100 milliseconds (of being presented with the choice), the change of mind will succeed in altering the original course of action.
Photo: StunningArt / Shutterstock<p>This understanding of the cerebellum's role in decision-making is new. Because the mice became less confident in their choices after the release of those agents, it appears the cerebellum is partly responsible for quick decision-making responses.</p><p>Restrepo notes that the cerebellum is responsible for a lot of learning—perhaps unsurprisingly, given its proximity to the spinal cord and its influence on motor patterns. Split-second decisions are an old evolutionary necessity and would have started evolving quite early on. As he <a href="https://news.cuanschutz.edu/news-stories/cu-anschutz-researchers-shed-light-on-split-second-decision-making" target="_blank">says</a>,</p><p>"We found an entire subset of brain cells that change after learning. It sheds further light on how the cerebellum functions and the complex web of connections that go into quick decision making."</p><p><strong>How long does it take to make a split decision and have good results?</strong></p><p>The researchers in Susan Courtney's study highlighted that timing is everything when it comes to these quick decisions. If the decision to change is made within 100 milliseconds (of being presented with the choice), the change of mind will succeed in altering the original course of action. However, if it takes at least (or more than) 200 milliseconds, the chances of the change succeeding are significantly less.</p>
Why do you feel the way you feel, think the way you think and behave the way you do? Here are 5 possible explanations.
- Psychology is the scientific study of the mind and behavior, but did you know there are actually 5 different perspectives to psychology?
- The earliest study of human psychology can be traced back to 400-500 BC.
- The biological approach, the psychodynamic approach, the behavioral approach, the cognitive approach, and the humanistic approach offer valid yet opposing ideas on why humans behave the way we do.
Psychology’s five major perspectives: Why are you the way you are?<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzQzODg2Mi9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0ODYyMTA2N30.CnprLD3xGl-3B8YMoRcvUWo3-oVrBOaswSS5-pbiPSU/img.jpg?width=980" id="54fa4" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="4037c7547a1c937b9895d0699d14459c" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" data-tablet-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzQzODg2Mi9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0ODYyMTA2N30.CnprLD3xGl-3B8YMoRcvUWo3-oVrBOaswSS5-pbiPSU/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=0%2C440%2C0%2C441&height=700" alt="concept of psychology five approaches to human psychology" data-width="6728" data-height="4666" />
There are five approaches to human psychology - which one do you trust most?
Image by FGC on Shutterstock<p>The study of psychology has progressed greatly, thanks to Wundt and other pioneers. Over the years, psychologists began to study all aspects of human behavior from personality traits to brain functions. Eventually, the studies began to look at the same human behaviors from various angles including biological, psychodynamic, behavioral, cognitive, and humanistic perspectives. These became known as the "five major perspectives" in psychology.</p><p><strong>The biological approach</strong></p><p>The biological approach to psychology focuses on examining our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors from a strictly biological point of view. In this approach, all thoughts, feelings, and behaviors would have a biological cause. </p><p>This approach is relevant to the study of psychology in three ways: </p><ol><li>Comparative method: different species of animals can be studied and then compared to each other. This helps us better understand human behavior. </li><li>Physiology: the study of how the nervous system and hormones work, how the brain functions, how changes in the structure and/or function can affect our behavior. For example, how prescribed drugs to treat depression can affect our behavior through their interaction with the nervous system. </li><li>Investigation of inheritance: the study of what we inherit from our parents (through genetics). For example, whether high intelligence is inherited from one generation to the next. </li></ol><p>Each of these is inherently important to how we study human psychology from a biological point of view, and it's suggested that behavior can be <a href="https://www.simplypsychology.org/biological-psychology.html#:~:text=The%20biological%20approach%20believes%20us,thus%20physical%20point%20of%20view.&text=All%20thoughts%2C%20feeling%20%26%20behavior%20ultimately%20have%20a%20biological%20cause." target="_blank">largely explained through biology</a>. </p><p><strong>The psychodynamic approach</strong></p><p>The psychodynamic approach to psychology is most well-known for its ties to Sigmund Freud and his followers. This approach includes all theories in psychology that see humans functioning based on the interaction of drives and forces within the person, particularly unconscious and between the different structures of the personality. </p><p>Freud developed a collection of theories (most of which were based on what his patients told him during therapy) that formed the basis of the psychodynamic approach. </p><p>The <a href="https://www.simplypsychology.org/psychodynamic.html#:~:text=The%20psychodynamic%20approach%20includes%20all,different%20structures%20of%20the%20personality.&text=Freud's%20psychoanalysis%20is%20both%20a%20theory%20and%20therapy." target="_blank">psychodynamic approach</a> can be best described in basic assumptions that: </p><ol><li>Our behavior and feelings are powerfully affected by unconscious motives. </li><li>Our behavior and feelings as adults are rooted in childhood experiences. </li><li>All behavior has a cause, and that cause is usually an unconscious one.</li><li>Personality is made of three parts (ID, ego, and super-ego).</li></ol><p><strong>The behavioral approach</strong></p><p>The <a href="https://www.simplypsychology.org/behaviorism.html#:~:text=Behaviorism%20refers%20to%20a%20psychological,through%20interaction%20with%20the%20environment." target="_blank">behavioral approach to psychology</a> focuses on how one's environment and external stimuli impact a person's mental states and development. More importantly, it focuses on how these factors specifically "train" us for the behaviors we exhibit later on. </p><p>People who support this approach to psychology over others may believe that the concept of "free will" is an illusion because all behaviors are learned and based on our past experiences. In other words, that we've been conditioned to act the way we act so nothing is ever truly our own choice. </p><p><strong>The cognitive approach</strong></p><p>The <a href="https://www.simplypsychology.org/cognitive.html" target="_blank">cognitive approach to psychology</a> shifts away from conditioned behavior and psychoanalytical notions to the study of how our mind works, how we process information, and how we use that processed information to drive our behaviors. </p><p>This approach focuses on: </p><ol><li>The meditational processes that occur between the stimulus and our response to the stimulus. </li><li>Human beings are information processors and all learning is based on the relationships we form with various stimuli. </li><li>Internal mental behavior can be scientifically studied using experiments that show us how we react to certain stimuli. </li></ol><p>In other words, the cognitive approach focuses on how our brains react to the environment around us and how our cognitive brain has very specific ways of processing certain stimuli which can explain why we think, feel and behave in certain ways. </p><p><strong>The humanistic approach </strong></p><p>The <a href="https://www.simplypsychology.org/humanistic.html" target="_blank">humanistic approach to psychology</a> was considered something of a rebellion against what psychologists saw as the limitations of the behaviorist and psychodynamic theories of psychology. It's the idea that we should approach psychological studies uniquely for each individual because we are all so vastly different. </p><p>This approach focuses on: </p><ol><li>The idea that we all have free will. </li><li>The idea that people are all basically good and that we have an innate need to make ourselves and the world better. </li><li>That we are motivated to self-actualize, grow, and thrive. </li><li>That our experiences are what drive us. </li></ol><p>This approach puts emphasis on the uniqueness of every person and every situation, suggesting that the other studies can never be fully accurate as there is such a wide range of thoughts, feelings, and human behaviors that can adapt and change as we do. </p>