HOW POVERTY AFFECTS THE BRAIN

HOW POVERTY AFFECTS THE BRAIN “A Constant State of Fight-or-Flight” “Young minorities who are more likely to experience poverty—and in turn more likely to face the cognitive development challenges laid out by science—could end up shouldering another burden, says W. Carson Byrd, assistant professor of Pan-African Studies at the University of Louisville: the assumption, based on these studies and headlines, that minority children “are less capable than their white peers.” Growing up as a poor minority in America alone does not make someone inherently more prone to brain development impacts—but the manifestations of poverty, along with how society treats poor minorities, can have an effect.Housing discrimination against minorities living in unsafe, dilapidated buildings, implicit racial bias by teachers, malnutrition, and underfunded schools in poor communities can hamper normal brain development. All of these factors combined can make learning nearly impossible and influence why African-Americans, for example, are more likely than whites to be entrapped by poverty. It’s easy to see how a sound bite about smaller brains “can end up as fuel for narrow views of social inequalities and the people that endure them in society,” Byrd says. It begins to dangerously echo racist arguments from past generations by so-called scientists who claimed that black people had smaller brain sizes and were therefore less intelligent than Europeans.”...

Stress: Your brain and body

“What is stress and can it be good for you? Does it kill off your brain cells and can it cause depression? How does your brain perceive a terrifying situation and prepare your body for survival? Your body’s stress response kicks in when you perceive you are under threat. Mammals have evolved this superb mechanism to ensure we have the best possible chance of survival when faced with a life-threatening situation. Imagine you are in the jungle and you hear movement behind you. You stop still, heart pounding and turn your head to orientate your eyes and ears to the sound. You see the undergrowth trampled as you hear an animal pounding towards you – then you hear the lions roar. At times like this you’d want every muscle in your body to work to the peak of its ability – and your brain to be super-alert. Evolution has obliged, and given you the stress response.”...

5 Ways Love Affects the Brain

5 Ways Love Affects the Brain *Hormones go haywire *Works like a drug *Makes the blood pump *Makes brain a little ‘OCD’ *Hormones create attachment “Love might seem to move in mysterious ways, but scientists actually have a pretty good idea of what love does to the brain. Being in love floods the brain with chemicals and hormones that produce feelings of pleasure, obsession and attachment.” Ref To learn more check out the link: 5 Ways Love Affects the...

How Hatred Changes Your Brain

“Seeing someone you hate – from that nasty lab partner to your cheating ex-boyfriend – produces sudden changes in the brain, according to a recent study conducted by British neuroscientists. The researchers took fMRI scans of subjects as they viewed both pictures of people they claimed to hate, as well as acquaintances to whom they felt neutrally. Not surprisingly, hatred activated areas involved in aggression and corresponding motor regions. Most specifically, the medial frontal gyrus, right putamen, bilateral prefrontal cortex, and bilateral medial insula exhibited heightened activity. The scientists even found three areas (right insula, right premotor cortex, right fronto-medial gyrus) that correlated linearly with the professed level of hatred the participants assigned to each picture. Interestingly, though, hatred activity also showed a surprising degree of correlation with areas involved in logic and planning. The researchers write: What seems not to be in doubt is that this cortical zone involves the premotor cortex, a zone that has been implicated in the preparation of motor planning and its execution. We hypothesize that the sight of a hated person mobilizes the motor system for the possibility of attack or defense. These findings could have legal implications, given that in some states, hate crimes lead to tougher sentencing. If a court could prove someone committed a crime while under the influence of hate, or that a defendant harbored strong hated towards the victim, the findings could be used to toughen the sentencing of the...

How anger changes the BRAIN

Aggression causes new nerve cells to grow which can trigger even more rage in the future. “Researchers studied changes in brains of mice with aggressive behaviour. After winning a fight, mice became angrier and new neurons appeared. This in turn appeared to cause them to become more aggressive. Study could shed light on angry behaviour and even how autism develops. From increased anxiety to high blood pressure, it’s well known that anger is bad for our health. But a new study suggests becoming full of rage could change the structure of the brain itself, with the production of nerve cells in the hippocampus. Activity in these new nerve cells was seen with the continuation of aggressive behaviour in an experiment involving male mice, which became increasingly angry. This suggests that the act of getting angry makes us angrier and the cycle continues.” Ref...