For centuries its a question that’s puzzled humanity, what is the key to happiness? Well these guys now have some answers to that age old question…
Scientists now believe they have found the region in the brain responsible for controlling these feelings. Researchers at Kyoto University have narrowed their search into happiness, by looking at the neural structures that cause people to be happy.
Leader of the research Wataru Sato thinks he has found the answer as to what makes us all happy chappies by using MRI to find out where in the brain this happiness happens.
The study revealed that a general feeling of happiness is caused by happy emotions and life satisfaction. Both hand in hand, the happen in precuneus – which is involved in episodic memory, reflecting upon self and some aspects of consciousness.
However, doctors are still unclear on what the actual mechanism is that behind making happiness occur.
Participants of the study had their brains scanned with MRI and then completed a survey. It asked how happy they felt, how intense their feelings were and how satisfied they were with their lives.
The result showed there was a strong correlation between the subjective happiness score and volume on the right precuneus. People who loved life more had a larger precuneus.
The study also revealed that people experience emotions in a variant of ways and those people who feel happiness more intensely also feel sadness at a lower intensity as well.
In summary the findings suggested the precuneus could control overall happiness.
Speaking to The Independent, Mr Sato said:
Over history, many eminent scholars like Aristotle have contemplated what happiness is. I’m very happy that we now know more about what it means to be happy. Several studies have shown that meditation increases grey matter mass in the precuneus. This new insight on where happiness happens in the brain will be useful for developing happiness programmes based on scientific research.
So, there you have it. Well, sort of.