It sounds almost too good to be true but it’s possible, according to new research reported in the Huffington Post.
Turns out our stresses and anxieties have one thing in common: they are sensed by a pair of patches of neurons, called the amygdala, sitting deep inside your brain. So what if you could control your amygdala?
That idea has obvious appeal for people suffering from depression, anxiety and PTSD. A brain training technique known as neurofeedback might help people find a way to change such involuntary and automatic brain processes.
The treatment involves monitoring a person’s brain activity using electroencephalography (EEG) or MRI brain scans, and showing those patterns of activity to the person so they can try to boost or reduce them.
In a new study published in Biological Psychiatry, researchers set up a series of experiments to use neurofeedback to teach several dozen people how to regulate their amygdala activity.
A series of tests afterward showed that this seemed to help participants become more capable of regulating the activity of their amygdala. In response to viewing a series of images, for example, the participants’ amygdalas seemed less sensitive compared to those of people in another group given a fake neurofeedback treatment.
The participants in this study were healthy. But Hendler believes that people with mental health problems, too, would respond to training with neurofeedback.
Read the full article here.