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-Looking for Happy Bits of the Brain 2003-05-22

Posted by clype in Science.

Buddhists may have led scientists to the secret of happiness.

Research in the U.S.A. suggests it lies just behind the forehead in the brain's left prefrontal lobes.

Scientists have found that in experienced, practising Buddhists, this part of the brain is consistently "lit up".

Persistent activity of the left prefrontal lobes is associated with positive emotions and good moods.

The preliminary findings emerged from research led by Mr.Richard Davidson, at the Laboratory for Affective Neuroscience at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

Mr.Owen Flanagan, Professor of Philosophy at Duke University in North Carolina, said:

'We can now hypothesise with some confidence that those apparently happy, calm Buddhist souls one regularly comes across in places such as Dharamsala, India — the Dalai Lama's home — really are happy.

'Behind those calm exteriors lie persistently frisky left prefrontal lobes. If these findings are widely confirmed, they will be of great importance'.

He said it was likely that there was something about Buddhist practice that produced happiness.

"Buddhists lead scientists to 'seat of happiness'", Ananova, 2003-05-21 We 19:11



1. dave - 2006-05-29

It sounds like they have assumed/presumed that Buddhists are happy, then scanned their brains to discover that their left prefrontal lobes show greater activity than normal — thus indicating which parts of the brain deal with happiness. On the other hand, it could be that that the left prefrontal lobes are assumed/presumed to deal with happiness, and that because Buddhists are showing more activity there, then it follows that Buddhists must be happy/ happier than normal.

2. aasa - 2006-08-15


google like it?

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