Brians Neuroscience of Looking at the bright side of Life

Some things in life are bad, they can really make you mad. Other things just make you swear and curse. When you're chewing on life's gristle, don't grumble, give a whistle and this'll help things turn out for the best... And...

neurologists have discovered what might be described as a "Life of Brian" brain mechanism that encourages us to look on the bright side of life - even when confronted by thoughts of mortality.

Shihui Han of Peking University, China, found activity in brain regions that normally deal with negative emotions and self-awareness are dampened when we process ideas about death. Han and colleagues placed 20 volunteers in functional MRI brain scanners while death-related words, such as graveyard, corpse, behead and slay, flashed up on a screen. Neutral and negative words were also displayed.

Human brains have 'Life of Brian' mechanism