According to a new research by scientists at England’s University of Cambridge and UCLA it suggests that the neurotransmitter serotonin operates as a chemical messenger between nerve cells and is vital in controlling emotions such as aggression in certain situations which requires the ability of decision making.
Serotonin has been known for its certain type of involvement with social behavior in the human body and less amount of serotonin levels are linked with depression and anxiety. Most of the scientists have assumed a connection between serotonin and impulsivity. This is the one of the first studies to portray connection between serotonin and impulsivity. The study also shows the primary role in regulating the impulsive aggression.
The study attempted to know the reason of any human getting angry or aggressive when the person is hungry, with an empty stomach or have not eaten anything at times. The findings have shown that when a person eats foods it helps the amino acid to develop the required serotonin. When an individual doesn’t eat, the serotonin levels automatically lowers.
The detailed investigations of the research show insight into clinical disorders which have low serotonin levels like depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder and this perhaps assist in knowing the social hindrances involved with these disorders.
Some of the scientists from UCLA found in April that the human brain responds better in situations when they are treated fairly just like when some one feels very happy in winning money and also when a person is given a chocolate, it reacts well. According to the latest Science study and their Cambridge colleagues have found that people with low serotonin levels are more sensitive when they are not given fair treatment.
The Science study conducted a survey wherein out of the 20 subjects, 14 were female around the age of 25. According to the April study published in the journal of Psychological Science contestants were offered fair and unfair offers for dividing a particular amount of money, if the prospects accepted the proposal they were paid the money, if not both the prospects walked away with nothing. Very few offers were fair enough like receiving 5 British pounds out of 10 or out of 12, whereas others were unfair receiving 5 pounds out of 23.
Later in the study the participants were offered a drink which gradually lowered their serotonin levels; this was done after the initial process of responsiveness to the fair and unfair offers.
As soon as the serotonin levels were reduced the contestants rejected 82 percent of the unfair offers and during the normal serotonin levels they rejected just 67 percent of the unfair offers. Hence people with low serotonin levels are highly prone to reject the unfair offers.
“The same person may experience the same thing as fair and unfair on different days based on how the neurochemistry of the brain is functioning,” said study co-author Matthew D. Lieberman, UCLA associate professor of psychology and a founder of social cognitive neuroscience. “When we feel something is unfair, that may have to do with how our brain causes us to experience the world. Our subjects are not aware their serotonin levels are affecting the way they experience the world. This suggests we should be more forgiving of other people’s perspectives.”
“A sense of fair play is not a purely rational process,” he added. “It seems not to be the case that, like a math formula, if something is fair, it’s fair for all time, in all situations.”
The study’s lead author is Molly Crockett, who is a former UCLA psychology undergraduate and conducts graduate work at Cambridge. The study was funded by the Wellcome Trust in England, which grants neuroscience research.
The findings have been published in the June 6 peer-reviewed journal Science.