Skip to main content

Natural Awakenings SW PA, Greater Pittsburgh

Have Conflicts Mediated for Best Results

Mediated Couple

davis kokanis/Unsplash.com

Active mediation by a third party provides better outcomes for couples’ arguments by heightening activity in the “reward” part of the brain that generates romantic love. That’s the conclusion of researchers from the University of Geneva in a study in the journal Cortex that included 36 heterosexual couples that had been married for one year. After receiving brain scans with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and filling out a questionnaire, the couples argued for an hour about a key conflict such as intimacy, finances or in-laws. Half the couples received guidance from a professional mediator; the other couples did not.

Afterward, couples with the active mediator reported feeling more satisfied with the content and progress of the discussion and had fewer residual issues. When individuals were shown photos of their spouse and another unknown person during a second fMRI, the couples that had mediation were more likely to experience heightened activation in the nucleus accumbens, a key region in the reward circuit of the brain linked to pleasure, motivation and feelings like love. The more satisfied a person was with the mediation, the greater the neural activation. “Our results suggest for the first time that third-party mediation has a significant and positive impact on the way couples argue, both behaviourally and neurally,” concludes Olga Klimecki, a study author and researcher at the Swiss Center for Affective Sciences.
Upcoming Events Near You
Digital Issue
#SupportLocal
Healthy Ways To Spend Time At Home
Global Brief: Natural Thinking Spending Time in Nature Increases Cognitive Performance
More of our time is spent indoors than ever before. One of the ways by which nature may improve cognitive function (i.e. the acquisition of and goal-oriented use of knowledge) is by improving memory formation and recall, specifically that of short-term or working memory, and goal-oriented or directed attention; the kind that requires focused effort. By comparing and contrasting 13 studies, a team of researchers has shed light on this complex interaction in research published in Frontiers in Psychology. The studies used the backwards digit span task, which requires participants to invert a series of numbers and repeat them back. All demonstrated significantly improved cognition in nature as compared to urban environments. The benefits of studies like this are two-fold: not only are we learning more about how the brain interacts with its environment, but also how to leverage this interaction to lead healthier, more productive and happier lives.
Like Us On Facebook!