The rest helped to understand the feelings of others

American scientists have found that rest helps you remember information about the other person and to work on it so that you can provide the necessary support. For this, they showed the participants two videos of experiments with people telling about their illness, and scientific videos — also about the disease. A period of rest after watching the video with the stories, as shown by fMRI in the resting state, also characterized by high network activity a passive mode of operation of the brain and fronto-temporal monitoring network that is likely to speak about the consolidation of memories and reflection, write the scientists in the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience.

Any close Association implies some support in the first place, of course, psychological. For such support, on the one hand, it is really necessary to achieve a certain level of intimacy and trust, and on the other also have a certain level of mutual understanding. For understanding, in turn, very important to listen to each other — so it’s good to analyze what the interlocutor says, and memorize it.

However, as a person’s ability to listen and remember information affects his relationship with man, dedicated not so much work. To fill this gap we decided Eleanor Collier (Eleanor Collier) and Megan Meyer (Meghan Meyer) from Dartmouth College. They suggested that the memorization of personal and emotional stories from other people requires memory consolidation during rest (in principle, like any other information), and from this consolidation depends on the future response — for example, the support person has a companion.

The first experiment the researchers conducted with the use of fMRI in resting state: first, 40 participants watched videos in which people talk quite emotionally about the disease, which are fighting, and then video, where the scientist is drawing (but without any emotional component) about the disease says. Scanning was carried out as during watching videos, and short periods of rest between them (you video, the participants were shown in random order).

Researchers found that during rest the brain of patients observed increased functional connectivity between the network of passive mode of operation of the brain (namely, dorsomedial prefrontal cortex) and fronto-temporal control network (p < 0.002); the link to their joint activity were the left temporal lobe. The magnitude of the functional relationship were also correlated (p = 0.02) with how accurately the participants recounted what they saw on the video — but this was only the emotional stories of other people, not a scientific video.

Network for passive mode of the brain, among other things, plays a role in empathy and understanding other people, and frontotemporal control network, as shown by recent studies, in introspection and related processes. Interestingly, functional connectivity was higher for a period of rest, but not the viewing of the video this may mean that the connection is important for consolidation of memories, their thinking, and not a primary formation.

The second experiment took place at the it was attended by 197 people, and the job was exactly the same — the participants had to watch a video and make a small rest breaks in between — only without scanning. After each rest period, participants were also asked in a free form to write about what they thought.

The next day after watching the video, participants were asked to write a letter of support. The letter then asked to rate other volunteers: mark, how many facts about the characters in the video mention the participants, and whether they use words of support. Those who did not want to write letters, just asked to answer questions about the video viewed.

Those who wrote letters, on average, remembered by 3.6 fact more about the participants in the video than those who refused to write letters and just remembering video. This, in turn, correlated with the fact that the participants, who remember the heroes of the rollers more facts, more thought about them during rest (p = 0.005).

The authors concluded that the rest period necessary for social interaction and support — most likely because of the fact that at this time is the consolidation of memories and, apparently, work on them.

By the way, support is important not only for normal close relationships and mental health but also for physical health: for example, pain helps reduce not only physical contact with a romantic partner, but just his presence is near — without any contact whatsoever.

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