Everyone wants it, but neurologists have found happiness in the brain, meaning that they have found the precise region where happy feelings actually happen. It’s a remarkable discovery that would hopefully lead to many more beneficial programs.
Researchers at the Kyoto University in Japan, have managed to track down the location of happiness in the brain. It’s placed in a region called the precuneus, in the medial parietal lobe, somewhere near the top back of your head. The overall feeling of happiness is caused by life satisfaction and happy emotions.
When both happen at the same time in the precuneus, you’re basically happy.
The team of researchers tested it out by taking MRI scans of the participants, and looking at the neural structures within their brains. Afterwards, they inquired the patients about how generally happy they were, how satisfied they were with their lives, and how strongly they feel emotions, be it good or bad.
Bigger precuneus, happier person
Their results showed that happiness is directly linked to more grey matter in the precuneus. There was a positive relationship between the participants’ scores and the size of that particular area in the brain. Those with larger precuneus were generally more satisfied with their lives, felt happiness more intensely, and felt sadness less so.
As it’s known and often witnessed, the researchers also proved that happiness varies from one person to another. While others would feel happier receiving compliments, others might be more satisfied through other means. It’s a highly subjective matter when placed in comparison. However, the size of one region of the brain can be measured, and, in effect, determine the happiness score.
Those who had larger precuneus and happier were generally better able to find meaning in life.
Many have attempted to find the key to happiness, its meaning, or its ultimate source. Now, according to lead author of the study Wataru Sato, we’re getting closer to understanding it. It’s one of the subjective matters that could not be properly explained. But, perhaps with enough research, certain programs could be enhanced to virtually help people become happy.
The researchers also found that meditation has been linked to increasing the grey mass within the precuneus. It’s apparently one option, but likely just one of the many that will be further researched.
By finding the region attributed to being happy, better programs could be created or even treatments. Essentially, science might one day be able to objectively measure happiness.
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