Shows Up on Brain Maps
Neuroscientists have now discovered a brain pattern that allows us to identify individuals with biological predisposition for developing depression. This biological marker appears to be very robust, having been replicated many times in brain mapping research that uses quantitative EEG brain mapping and neuroimaging processes.
The left frontal area
of the brain is associated with positive emotions and "approach
motivation," which is a desire to be involved with other people.
The right frontal
area of the brain is associated with depression and fear,
accompanied by motivation to withdraw from and avoid other people.
When there is more
slow brainwave activity in the left frontal area, as indicated by
the red area in the brain map below, which depicts typical
patterns in a brain map associated with depression. The
front part of the brain is more inactive and the right frontal
area is more dominant. Such a person is predisposed to be
depressed, withdrawn, and anxious.
The problem of the slow waves on the left side may occur because of heredity (family
history), or it may occur because someone has had a mild head injury in the left frontal area that produced the slowing.
The brain map
depicted above is of a person with a long history of depression, illustrating the excessive slow brainwave activity in the left frontal area (red colored section). If a person would like to take charge of their life, and reduce the problems associated with depression, the good news is that we have the technology to retrain and improve the brain.
This also may provide an important alternative:
By working with your medical physician who monitors your progress, you will be able to make changes in the brain wave patterns by doing neurofeedback, and your disposition will become lighter and happier. There will be less and less times spent feeling “the blues.”
Whereas brain mapping is effective in locating where the problem
resides within the brain, the neurofeedback process is the
procedure for safely regulating and normalizing the areas of the
brain that are malfunctioning and causing the problems of
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