Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

What happens when we get angry?

Date:
June 1, 2010
Source:
Plataforma SINC
Summary:
When we get angry, the heart rate, arterial tension and testosterone production increases, cortisol (the stress hormone) decreases, and the left hemisphere of the brain becomes more stimulated. This is indicated by a new investigation that analyzes the changes in the brain's cardiovascular, hormonal and asymmetric activation response when we get angry.

When we get angry, the heart rate, arterial tension and testosterone production increases, cortisol (the stress hormone) decreases, and the left hemisphere of the brain becomes more stimulated.
Credit: Image courtesy of Plataforma SINC

When we get angry, the heart rate, arterial tension and testosterone production increases, cortisol (the stress hormone) decreases, and the left hemisphere of the brain becomes more stimulated. This is indicated by a new investigation lead by scientists from the University of Valencia (UV) that analyses the changes in the brain's cardiovascular, hormonal and asymmetric activation response when we get angry.

Related Articles


"Inducing emotions generates profound changes in the autonomous nervous system, which controls the cardiovascular response, and also in the endocrine system. In addition, changes in cerebral activity also occur, especially in the frontal and temporal lobes," Neus Herrero, main author of the study and researcher at UV, explains.

The researchers induced anger in 30 men using the version that has been adapted to Spanish of the procedure "Anger Induction" (AI), consisting of 50 phrases in first person that reflect daily situations that provoke anger. Before and immediately after the inducement of anger they measured the heart rate and arterial tension, the levels of testosterone and cortisol, and the asymmetric activation of the brain (using the dichotic listening technique), the general state of mind and the subjective experience of the anger emotion.

The results, published in the journal Hormones and Behavior, reveal that anger provokes profound changes in the state of mind of the subjects ("they felt angered and had a more negative state of mind") and in different psychobiological parameters. There is an increase in heart rate, arterial tension and testosterone, but the cortisol level decreases.

Asymmetries of brain activity

Nonetheless, "by focusing on the asymmetric brain activity of the frontal lobe that occurs when we experience emotions, there are two models that contradict the case of anger," the researcher highlights.

The first model, 'of emotional valence', suggests that the left frontal region of the brain is involved in experiencing positive emotions, whilst the right is more related to negative emotions.

The second model, 'of motivational direction', shows that the left frontal region is involved in experiencing emotions related to closeness, whilst the right is associated with the emotions that provoke withdrawal.

The positive emotions, like happiness, are usually associated to a motivation of closeness, and the negative ones, like fear and sadness, are characterised by a motivation of withdrawal.

However, not all emotions behave in accordance with this connection. "The case of anger is unique because it is experienced as negative but, often, it evokes a motivation of closeness," the expert explains.

"When experiencing anger, we have observed in our study an increase in right ear advantage, that indicates a greater activation of the left hemisphere, which supports the model of motivational direction," Herrero points out.. In other words, when we get angry, our asymmetric cerebral response is measured by the motivation of closeness to the stimulus that causes us to be angry and not so much by the fact we consider this stimulus as negative: "Normally when we get angry we show a natural tendency to get closer to what made us angry to try to eliminate it," he concludes.

Every emotion is unique

This is the first general study on emotions and more specifically on anger that examines all these different psychobiological parameters (cardiovascular, hormonal response and asymmetric activation response of the brain) in a single investigation to study the changes caused by the inducement of anger. In addition the results of the study are along the same lines as previous investigations and defend what has been noted by Darwin: that the emotions, in this case anger, are accompanied by unique and specific (psychobiological) patterns for each emotion.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Plataforma SINC. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Neus Herrero, Marien Gadea, Gabriel Rodrํguez-Alarc๓n, Ra๚l Espert, Alicia Salvador. What happens when we get angry? Hormonal, cardiovascular and asymmetrical brain responses. Hormones and Behavior, 2010; 57 (3): 276 DOI: 10.1016/j.yhbeh.2009.12.008

Cite This Page:

Plataforma SINC. "What happens when we get angry?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 June 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100531082603.htm>.
Plataforma SINC. (2010, June 1). What happens when we get angry?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100531082603.htm
Plataforma SINC. "What happens when we get angry?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100531082603.htm (accessed October 31, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Friday, October 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Studying Effects of Music on Dementia Patients

Studying Effects of Music on Dementia Patients

AP (Oct. 30, 2014) — The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is studying the popular Music and Memory program to see if music, which helps improve the mood of Alzheimer's patients, can also reduce the use of prescription drugs for those suffering from dementia. (Oct. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Techy Tots Are Forefront of London's Baby Show

Techy Tots Are Forefront of London's Baby Show

AP (Oct. 28, 2014) — Moms and Dads get a more hands-on approach to parenting with tech-centric products for raising their little ones. (Oct. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cocoa Could Be As Good For Memory As It Is For A Sweet Tooth

Cocoa Could Be As Good For Memory As It Is For A Sweet Tooth

Newsy (Oct. 27, 2014) — Researchers have come up with another reason why dark chocolate is good for your health. A substance in the treat can reportedly help with memory. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Five-Year-Olds Learn Coding as Britain Eyes Digital Future

Five-Year-Olds Learn Coding as Britain Eyes Digital Future

AFP (Oct. 27, 2014) — Coding has become compulsory for children as young as five in schools across the UK. Making it the first major world economy to overhaul its IT teaching and put programming at its core. Duration: 02:19 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins