If you’re looking at life through rose-colored glasses, it may be all in your head, literally. A new study found that the size of the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) influences how optimistic a person’s mindset is. The OFC, which is the brain region located right behind the eyes, is directly associated with anxiety.
Researchers found that optimistic people tend to have a much larger OFC and, as a result, less anxiety. A statistical analysis of MRIs from healthy young adults revealed that a thicker OFC on the left side of the brain was related to higher optimism and lower anxiety levels. They also found that optimism neutralized anxiety levels in individuals who had larger OFCs.
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