Scientists have discovered, anxiety makes people go left. Because the right side of the brain becomes overly active.
The Telegraph online has reported research by Mario Weick of the University of Kent’s School of Psychology, which for the first time, links activities in the brain’s two hemispheres to the way people walk.
Experiment of Weick’s showed that blindfolded people with high anxiety levels tended to veer towards the left while trying to walk towards a target they were previously shown. “People experiencing anxiety and inhibition have more activity in the right side of the brain, causing them to walk in a leftward trajectory,” the report quoted Weick as saying. The research paper has been published in the journal ‘Cognition’.
The ‘Scientific Reports’ published on another study on people’s performance has shown that they tend to do badly when they are aware of being watched by a critical audience. The report says experts have identified the part of the brain responsible for performance debacles with the help of functional magnetic resonance neuroimaging (fMRI).
Participants’ brain activity was monitored in an experiment in which they were asked to exert pressure while gripping an object. An analysis of the results showed that an area of the brain that helps people control their fine sensorimotor functions-the inferior parietal cortex became deactivated when they felt they were being observed, the report said.
According to the study, this part of the brain works with another section, known as the ‘posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS)’. Together, they form what neuroscientists call the action-observation network (AON). The AON helps people infer what other persons are thinking on the basis of their facial expressions. Brain signals egg them on to perform well, if people feel the observers are eager to see them succeed. But if negative signals are picked up, the IPC is shut off and the performance begins to flag.