Social Status and Brain Health

Interesting? Useful? Share it!
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

The Washington Post reported on a recent study out of the National Institute of Mental Health. The study found that different brain areas are activated when a person moves up or down in social status or sees people who are socially superior or inferior. The brain seemed to activate in a similar manner to winning money.

The scientists indicate that our position in social hierarchies affects motivation as well as physical and mental health. Past research has supported the relationship between social rank and health. For example, persons with a lower social status had a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease and to die early. Psychological effects to include loss of control over one’s environment may be one trigger for the relationship to poor health.

The brain seems to have a hard wiring for hierarchical information and that this information is important to us. Our desire to compete, play to win, and to be motivated are directly linked to brain circuitry.

This most likely explains our civilization’s interest in sports, gaming, and competition. Our own individual struggle to reach our specific potential in areas of school, work, or skill development also fit into this model. It may not be such a stretch to suggest that our drive to personal health, including brain health involves such brain circuitry and that computerized mental exercises that provide explicit feedback on our performance is one tangible example of competitive health behavior.

Click here to read the Washington Post article


Interesting? Useful? Share it!
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

3 thoughts on “Social Status and Brain Health

  1. Jayson

    I create a comment whenever I especially enjoy a article
    on a website or I have something to contribute to the discussion.
    It’s caused by the passion displayed in the article I browsed. And after this article Social Status and Brain Health | Brain Health & Brain Fitness Blog. I was moved enough to post a thought ;) I actually do have a couple of questions for you if it’s allright.
    Could it be just me or do a few of these remarks appear as if they are
    coming from brain dead visitors? :-P And, if you are posting at additional online
    sites, I’d like to follow you. Could you make a list all of your public sites like your twitter feed, Facebook page or linkedin profile?

What are your thoughts?