Thursday, 7 June 2012

Treating depression with magnets

Can interfering with the right inferior frontal gyrus become a viable treatment for depression? According to research done by Tali Sharot, they were able to boost people's optimism for about half an hour at a time by disrupting that area of the brain with a magnetic field. In normal people, that produced unbounded, wild optimism, because that area of the brain is responsible for incorporating negative information into our outlook or decision making. Something like that. So I'd be very interested to find out what effect that could have on depressed people, who surely have a much lower optimism bias than the rest of us. If you treated just that part of the brain in a depressed person, would it make their outlook generally more sunny, and therefore get them to be more positive, feeding that back into the rest of their lives?

Mokalus of Borg

PS - It would be like a real-life happy helmet.
PPS - Which didn't turn out too well, actually, so maybe don't base it on that.

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