APS logoIt has been said that a very powerfully motivated mind can make anything happen. A recent study conducted by the Association for Psychological Science suggests that motivation happens in one side of the brain at a time because both halves of the brain need not to agree. Initially psychologists considered motivation as a conscious process but this study apparently describes motivation to be subconscious.

The scientists unraveled that if people mentally see pictures of a reward they then tend to aim for bigger rewards even though they are unaware of what they have seen. During a previous study, participants were shown pictures for just a fraction of a second. These pictures were of a one-euro coin or a one-cent coin. Then they were made to squeeze a pressure-sensing handgrip.

The outcome was that as they went on squeezing it harder the more of the coin could seemingly be achieved. The investigators claimed that the participants were not aware as to how big the coin was and they were just seeing a mental picture. The result was that participants squeezed for the one euro harder than the one cent. Therefore, they predict that motivation need not necessarily be conscious.

Mathias Pessiglione, of the Brain and amp; Spine Institute in Paris remarked, “It changes the conception we have about motivation. It’s a weird idea, that your left hand, for instance, could be more motivated than your right hand.”

The new study aimed to ascertain whether one side of the brain could be motivated at a time or no. The authors were able to keep their participants focused on a cross in the middle of the computer screen. All the volunteers were shown the motivational coin which was either the one euro coin or one cent coin. It should be mentioned that the coin was revealed on only one side of the visual field.

The outcome was that people who saw the coin on the same side of the visual field as the squeezing hand seemed to be subliminally motivated. The scientists enlightened that when the subliminal coin appeared on the right and was squeezed on the right, people squeezed the euro harder than the cent. But when the coin was visualized on the left and was squeezed on the right people did not seem to squeeze the euro harder.

This shows that one side of the brain and so one side of the body can probably be motivated at a time. This analysis may aid in determining the way two sides of the brain drive our behavior together.

The study is published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.