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Pea-sized region of the brain linked to pessimism

A tiny part of the brain could play a part in a pessimistic outlook and teach people to expect the worst, scientists believe.

A tiny part of the brain known as the habenula could make people pessimistic.
A tiny part of the brain known as the habenula could make people pessimistic. Credit: PA

The habenula, an evolutionarily ancient part of the brain half the size of a pea, plays an important role in learning from bad experiences research from University College London's Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience has found.

In some people, they think an over-active habenula may be linked to depression, pessimism and a negative outlook.

Lead researcher Dr Jonathan Roiser said: "The habenula tracks our experiences, responding more the worse something is expected to be."

He added: "In this study we showed that the habenula doesn't just express whether something leads to negative events or not; it signals quite how much bad outcomes are expected."

Dr Roiser said the findings, published in the latest edition of the journal Proceedings Of The National Academy Of Sciences, may point the way towards new treatments.


Murdoch: I hope daughter isn't David Cameron's friend

Media mogul Rupert Murdoch has tweeted that he hopes that his daughter is not friends with Prime Minister David Cameron.


Asked is my daughter friend of David Cameron? Don't know, but hope not. Really not my business.

The business magnate did not say which of his four daughters he was referring to, but he tweeted earlier that he was in America visiting his grandchildren.


At Camp Laurel, Maine visiting daughter. Great experience for kids, new friends, different activities all maturing, teaching independence.

Worthing underwater as storms hit south coast

Stations and roads were underwater in Worthing today as storms caused flash flooding in the area.

Homes and shops were left damaged and people struggled to get around in water which came up to their knees in some areas.

A drone captured these images above a Worthing street which showed cars trying to manoeuvre through inches of water after a months worth of rain fell in just an hour.


Weather: Storms return to bring lively start to the week

by - ITV Weather Presenter

By Lucy Verasamy: Weather Presenter

A lively start to the week with intense thundery rain through the south-east already - and further downpours in places this afternoon.

A few scattered, light showers will drift through Northern Ireland, the West Country and Wales.

Elsewhere a fine, bright day with sunshine. Looking good in Glasgow for the Commonwealth Games.

Highs of 22C in the north and 25C in the south, but muggy with the thundery air.

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