My excuse for not checking the news on a daily basis is that most of it is bad news, and I’d rather not fill my life with unnecessary negativity. This was discussed in class as a common reason for not being vigilant about everyday news pieces. So I thought it would be interesting if I read this article: http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/blog/2012/sep/25/how-brain-filters-bad-news titled “How the Brain Filters Bad News.”
The article is about how a specific region of the brain has been located that is partly responsible for ignoring bad news. In an experiment, subjects had that part of their brain disrupted with magnetic pulses, and then asked to estimate how likely bad things would happen to them. Afterwards, they were shown the correct answers. Tested again slightly later, the people whose specific brain area had been disrupted adjusted their estimates better than the control group, who still retained more optimistic figures.
I find it very interesting that the scientists were able to isolate such a specific part of the brain that functions in that way. I wonder if permanent brain damage in that area could leave to a more pessimistic outlook on life or potentially develop into depression. I wonder if it has been tested whether people already exhibiting symptoms of depression have a defect in that brain area. I also wonder whether such a mechanism exists in any animal species.