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First identification of brain’s preparation for action

Neuroscientists at Bangor University and University College London (UCL) have for the first time, identified the processes which occur in our brains milliseconds before we undertake a series of movements, crucial for speech, handwriting, sports or playing a musical instrument. They have done so by measuring tiny magnetic fields outside the participants’ head and identifying unique patterns making up each sequence before it is executed. They identified differences between neural patterns which lead to a more skilled as opposed to a more error-prone execution.

Publication date: 7 February 2019

True cost of gambling underestimated, say new publications

The current focus on individual ‘problem gamblers’ fails to take into account the full health and social cost of gambling because it overlooks the wider impact on families, friends and communities, according to new work published today.

The joint work by Bangor University, Public Health Wales, Heather Wardle Research and Swansea University also shows that problem gambling rates are highest in the most deprived communities of Wales

Publication date: 29 January 2019

Why people with anxiety and other mood disorders struggle to manage their emotions

Regulating our emotions is something we all do, every day of our lives. This psychological process means that we can manage how we feel and express emotions in the face of whatever situation may arise. But some people cannot regulate their emotions effectively, and so experience difficult and intense feelings, often partaking in behaviours such as self-harmusing alcohol, and over-eating to try to escape them.

There are several strategies that we use to regulate emotions – for example, reappraisal (changing how you feel about something) and attentional deployment (redirecting your attention away from something). Underlying neural systems in the brain’s prefrontal cortex are responsible for these strategies. However, dysfunction of these neural mechanisms can mean that a person is unable to manage their emotions effectively.

This article by Leanne Rowlands, PhD Researcher in Neuropsychology,  at the School of Psychology is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Publication date: 25 January 2019