Are there any differences in the brain between those who have high and low self-esteem? Our confidence can determine our behavior in different types of situations, and it can help us be more successful in our everyday life. A new study researched the connection between confidence and brain activity by a new brain-scanning technique, designed to read and amplify the brain waves when someone was in a high-confidence state.
Findings could alter the way we view psychological disorders such as depression and anxiety. The good news is that there is hope for people suffering from low self-esteem. Research emphasizes the plasticity of the human brain, suggesting that we are able to change negative patterns, even later in life.
“How is confidence represented in the brain? Although this is a very complex question, we used approaches drawn from artificial intelligence (AI) to find specific patterns in the brain that could reliably tell us when a participant was in a high or low confidence state,” said study author Dr. Mitsuo Kawato, director of the Computational Neuroscience Laboratories at the Advanced Telecommunications Research (ATR) Institute International, Kyoto.
During research, participants were asked to perform an easy perceptual task. Researchers used brain scanning to detect the occurrence of a particular behavior connected to high self-esteem.
When the pattern of high confidence was detected by researchers, participants received a small monetary reward. The experiment allowed scientists to boost people’s confidence when participants were completely unaware that they were manipulated,
Although there were only 17 participants in the study, other studies had similar results as well.