When we get angry, the heart rate, arterial tension and testosterone production increases, cortisol (the stress hormone) decreases, and the left hemisphere of the brain becomes more stimulated. This is indicated by a new investigation lead by scientists from the University of Valencia (UV) that analyses the changes in the brain’s cardiovascular, hormonal and asymmetric activation response when we get angry.
“Inducing emotions generates profound changes in the autonomous nervous system, which controls the cardiovascular response, and also in the endocrine system. In addition, changes in cerebral activity also occur, especially in the frontal and temporal lobes”, Neus Herrero, main author of the study and researcher at UV, explains to SINC.
The researchers induced anger in 30 men using the version that has been adapted to Spanish of the procedure “Anger Induction” (AI), consisting of 50 phrases in first person that reflect daily situations that provoke anger. Before and immediately after the inducement of anger they measured the heart rate and arterial tension, the levels of testosterone and cortisol, and the asymmetric activation of the brain (using the dichotic listening technique), the general state of mind and the subjective experience of the anger emotion.
The results, published in the journal Hormones and Behavior, reveal that anger provokes profound changes in the state of mind of the subjects (“they felt angered and had a more negative state of mind”) and in different psychobiological parameters. There is an increase in heart rate, arterial tension and testosterone, but the cortisol level decreases.