Staying healthy may involve more than washing hands or keeping a positive attitude. According to a new study from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, it also may involve a particular pattern of brain activity.
By monitoring activity levels in the human brains prefrontal cortex, the researchers demonstrate for the first time that people who have more activity in the left side of this area also have a stronger immune response against disease. The findings, soon to be published in the online edition of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, pinpoint one of the mechanisms underlying the link between mental and physical well-being.
Numerous scientific studies show that keeping a positive attitude can keep a person healthy, says Richard Davidson, a UW-Madison neuroscientist and senior author of the paper. But he adds that the reasons why this connection exists are poorly understood.
Richard Davidson | EurekAlert!
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