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article imageScience tells us when we're anxious, we veer to the left

By Tim Sandle     Jan 23, 2016 in Science
Canterbury - Leaning to the left? Researchers have discovered when we feel anxious this makes us veer to the left. This is due to the right hand side of our brain being very active.
Scientists have stumbled upon something that seems to stack up against observational research. A U.K. based research group have connected the activation of the brain’s two hemispheres with shifts in people’s walking trajectories. In connection with feeling anxious, there is a leftward direction.
This was observed through a controlled study. Here subjects were blindfolded and asked to move in a straight line, walking across a room towards a target they had been previously shown. It was found that some subjects veered to the left, when they felt anxious. Conversely, there was a slight rightward bias when people reported they felt more relaxed.
The conclusion of the study is the brain’s two hemispheres are associated with different motivational systems, and that there is a link between motivation and lateral bias. Lead researcher, Dr Weick, told The Daily Telegraph: "People experiencing anxiety and inhibition have more activity in the right side of the brain, causing them to walk in a leftward trajectory."
Dr Weick heads up the School of Psychology at the University of Kent. The findings are published in the journal Cognition. The paper is titled "Walking blindfolded unveils unique contributions of behavioural approach and inhibition to lateral spatial bias."
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