Paul Roebuck
Paul Roebuck
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Official blog and vlog of Paul Roebuck and Mind Gym

The science of sadness

A recent report in the Cell medical journal proves a link between our long term memory and our feelings of sadness.

So, thinking about a sad memory will likely make us feel sad.

Well that’s hardly rocket science is it.  

No, but it is emerging neuroscience.

Despite the phenomenal progress we’ve made with regards to brain surgery and so on, we still know alarmingly little about how our Brian circuitry really works.

sadness-why

What this scientific research means, more importantly, is that the reverse is also true.  

When we feel sad or down it’s because we are accessing (thinking about) something in our long term memory, something from our past.  Which we may be (and often are) doing unconsciously.  

This image shows the proximity between our emotional centre, the amygdala (3) and our long term memory management,  hippocampus (4), these are the two areas of the brain which the scientists pinpointed as responsible for sadness.

The emotional brain. The centre for sadness.

The emotional brain. The centre for sadness.

The findings of this research confirms something which has been central to the majority of psychological theories for a long while, and is now being confirmed by neuroscientists. 

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2018/11/08/665615440/researchers-uncover-a-circuit-for-sadness-in-the-human-brain?t=1541829265743