Stimulating the Caudate Nucleus: Why the Glass May Seem Half Empty to You

Have you ever felt like your judgement was being clouded by pessimism? Have you ever wondered why you focus on the downside of a situation rather than the upside? Well, researchers at MIT have recently found that stimulating a region of the brain known as the caudate nucleus, likely has an impact on your mood and the decisions that you make.

The caudate nucleus is located deep in the brain on both the right and left hemispheres. It is known to play a significant role in storing and processing memories but in recent years, it has been connected to emotional decision-making. Previously, a neural circuit was found to affect a type of decision-making known as approach-avoidance conflict. Approach-avoidance conflict is described as an element of stress where a situation/goal may seem appealing and unappealing at the same time. Therefore, there are both positive and negative feelings involved which ultimately becomes a conflict for a person making a decision.

Dr. M. Arnold Muller

Dr. M. Arnold Muller

Dr. M. Arnold Muller is a licensed School and Clinical Psychologist currently based in Toronto, Ontario, with 31 years of practice experience in two countries. Prior to his time in Canada, he spent the first half of his career in South Africa. Dr. Muller has a Ph.D. with specialization in Psychotherapy from the University of Pretoria, and a Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology. He also has a second Masters Degree in Practical Theology from the University of Stellenbosch.

Dr. Muller has worked in many settings including school boards, addiction centres, correctional institutions, the military, churches, and private practices. Spending time in these organizations has allowed him to gain an astounding amount of experience in psychological assessment, diagnosis, and treatment plan preparation and application.

Dr. Muller also has training and exposure to Neurofeedback Training, Somatic Experiencing, crisis intervention, conflict resolution and managing cultural differences. In his spare time, you can find him hiking, travelling, working on his photography, poetry, and spending time with his family and friends.

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