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Emotions in brain depend on what hand we use, says research

Though psychologists have always believed that emotions are organized the same in everyone's brain, the new study suggests that this may not be the case.

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Our emotions are organized in our brain depending on what hand we use primarily. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

A new study says that the hand we use may determine how emotions are filed in our brains.

Though psychologists have always believed that emotions are organized the same in everyone's brain, the new study suggests that this may not be the case.

The finding could change the way mental illness is treated.

The study by psychologists Geoffrey Brookshire and Daniel Casasanto of The New School for Social Research used electroencepahlography (EEG) scans to measure brain waves.

After the scan, they tested subjects on something known as "approach motivation" and "withdraw motivation" which Medical Daily describes as "the drive to approach or withdraw from physical and social stimuli," which is a fundamental "building block of human emotion."

It was originally believed that approach motivation occurs in the left hemisphere and withdraw motivation in the right hemisphere.

The study challenged this assertion finding that left-handers showed the opposite pattern of right handers, namely that approach motivation saw greater activity in the right hemisphere than the left, and vice versa, depending on the hand one used primarily, reported Science Daily.

“Approach motivation is computed by the hemisphere that controls the right hand in right-handers, and by the hemisphere that controls the left hand in left-handers,” said Casasanto, according to Psych Central.

“We don’t think this is a coincidence. Neural circuits for motivation may be functionally related to circuits that control hand actions – emotion may be built upon neural circuits for action, in evolutionary or developmental time.”

 The study was published in the journal PLoS ONE

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/science/120503/emotions-brain-depend-what-hand-we-use-says-research