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Emotions and Alcoholism
Wednesday. 11.29.06 11:17 am

Researchers have developed a new study which measures the brain activity in the frontal regions of the brain. This part is said to be responsible for the differences in emotions with respect to our personality. Of course an imbalance in this area could indicate an imbalbnce in emotion and motivation.

Researchers are concerned with how our emotionality relates to alcohol dependance. They have been using an EEG (electroencephalogram) to test the brain activitiy of the individuals in their test group. A person with depression will have a condition known as EEG asymmetry. The key is to figure out if this is related to alcoholism.

"We found that alcoholics had lower brain activity in left frontal areas relative to right frontal areas, as measured by EEG, when compared to nonalcoholics," said Hayden. "This is interesting because left frontal activity may reflect brain systems involved in acquiring rewards and the positive moods we feel when we obtain a desirable object or goal. Conversely, right frontal activity may be involved in inhibiting behavior in the face of negative consequences and the anxiety we feel in those circumstances." This imbalance, she speculated, may be genetically based -- at least partially.An important next step in this line of research would be to see whether the same is true of frontal brain activity in alcoholism, possibly by looking at the children of alcoholics."


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