What's the buzz

Coach students with compassion

Researchers at Case Western Reserve University have found that people respond much better to a coach they find inspiring and who shows compassion for them, rather than one who they perceive to be judging them.

Richard Boyatzis and Anthony Jack used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to show neural reactions based on two types of coaching — one encouraged envisaging a positive future, and the other set a more standard tone by focusing on a person’s failings and what he or she ought to do.

“Students tended to activate the areas associated with visioning more with the compassionate coach, even when the topics they were thinking about weren’t so positive,” Jack said.

Jack said the fMRI images show the neural signatures of visioning, a critical process for motivating learning and behavioural change. What Boyatzis and Jack set out to do was to observe brain images, which reflect coaching tone.

Secret behind babies’ happy, angry facial expressions

Japanese research group have found hemispheric differences in the temporal area overlying superior temporal sulcus (STS) when processing positive (happy) and negative (angry) facial expressions in infants.

Near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) is an optical imaging technique that can measure changes in the concentrations of oxyhemoglobin (oxy-Hb), deoxyhemoglobin (deoxy-Hb), and total hemoglobin (total-Hb) as an index of neural activation.  Recently, NIRS has been widely used to reveal the brain activity for cognitive processing in awake infants.
Neuroimaging studies in adults have revealed that the STS is involved in the processing of facial expressions, while infants’ brain regions involved in perceiving facial expressions has not been investigated.

The findings showed that (1) the hemodynamic responses elicited by the perception of happy faces increased continuously even after the happy face stimuli disappeared, whereas of the neural response to angry faces decreased much more rapidly when the presentation of angry faces ceased, and that (2) the left temporal area of infants’ brain was significantly activated for happy faces, while the right temporal area was activated for angry faces.

Potential life-saving treatment for sepsis — Vitamin C

A team of researchers has discovered that vitamin C can not only prevent the onset of sepsis, but can also reverse the disease.

According to Dr Karel Tyml and his colleagues at The University of Western Ontario and Lawson Health Research Institute, patients with severe sepsis have a high mortality rate, nearly 40 per cent, because there is no effective treatment.

Sepsis is caused by a bacterial infection that can begin anywhere in your body. Your immune system goes into overdrive, overwhelming normal processes in your blood. The result is that small blood clots form, blocking blood flow to vital organs.

Comments (+)