A Single Word Can Help You Achieve Your Goals

A new study lends credence to how a single positive word can increase activity in the goal-achievement areas of your frontal lobe

The written content of the post was authored by best-selling author and neuroscience expert, Mark Robert Waldman. It is posted with his permission.


This new study lends credence to how a single positive word can increase activity in the goal-achievement areas of your frontal lobe (Dorsolateral prefrontal cortex).

Using positive words and affirmations appears to improve our decision-making skills, whereas negative language disrupts our ability to initiate action to achieve any specific goal.

Brain Lang. 2014 Oct;137:77-85
Motivational mechanisms (BAS) and prefrontal cortical activation contribute to recognition memory for emotional words. rTMS effect on performance and EEG (alpha band) measures.
Balconi M1, Cobelli C2.

Abstract:

The present research addressed the question of where memories for emotional words could be represented in the brain. A second main question was related to the effect of personality traits, in terms of the Behavior Activation System (BAS), in emotional word recognition. We tested the role of the left DLPFC (LDLPFC) by performing a memory task in which old (previously encoded targets) and new (previously not encoded distractors) positive or negative emotional words had to be recognized. High-BAS and low-BAS subjects were compared when a repetitive TMS (rTMS) was applied on the LDLPFC. We found significant differences between high-BAS vs. low-BAS subjects, with better performance for high-BAS in response to positive words. In parallel, an increased left cortical activity (alpha desynchronization) was observed for high-BAS in the case of positive words. Thus, we can conclude that the left approach-related hemisphere, underlying BAS, may support faster recognition of positive words.


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