Researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai have learned that the way the brain processes the complex emotion of regret may be linked to an individual’s ability to cope with stress, and altered in psychiatric disorders like depression. The study, published October 19 in Science Advances, reveals that mice show sensitivity to two distinct types of regret and that these different thought processes likely stem from different parts of the brain. The team also discovered that a genetic marker that predisposes maladaptive stress response traits and vulnerability to depression was linked to sensitivity to one type of regret whereas healthy and stress-resilient animals were instead sensitive to a second type of regret. These novel findings could have broad implications for multiple fields, including psychiatry, psychology, and behavioral economics, and could inform the future design of targeted therapies for mood disorders in humans.
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