The brain devotes more processing resources to social situations that signal threat than those that are benign and anxious people process those threats using regions of the brain responsible for action, says a study.The study that may help explain the apparent “sixth sense” we have for danger found that “low anxious” people process the threats in sensory circuits, responsible for face recognition. It was previously thought that anxiety could lead to over sensitivity to threat signals. However, the new study showed that the difference has a useful purpose. Non-clinical anxiety shifts the neural ‘coding’ of threat to motor circuits, which produce action, from sensory circuits, which help us to recognise faces, the researchers explained.Facial displays of emotion can be ambiguous but the researchers managed to identify what it is that makes a person particularly threatening. They found that the direction a person is looking in is key to enhancing our sensitivity to their emotions. Anger paired with a direct gaze produces a response in the brain in only 200 milliseconds, faster than if the angry person is looking elsewhere.“In a crowd, you will be most sensitive to an angry face looking towards you, and will be less alert to an angry person looking somewhere else,” said lead author Marwa El Zein from the French Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM). Similarly, if a person displays fear and looks in a particular direction you will detect this more rapidly than positive emotions. Such quick reactions could have served an adaptive purpose for survival. For the study, electrical signals measured in the brains of 24 volunteers were analysed while they were asked to decide whether digitally altered faces expressed anger or fear. “In contrast to previous work, our findings demonstrate that the brain devotes more processing resources to negative emotions that signal threat, rather than to any display of negative emotion,” El Zein noted. The study appeared in the journal eLife.
Kolkata: The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) will soon take up emphatic awareness campaign throughout the city to ensure that the food vendors and the consumers do not compromise with the food safety standards.”We will be putting up banners and posters with messages regarding food safety and security at strategic locations in the city. We will also distribute leaflets with do’s and don’t’s among common people, food vendors and also street food vendors. The regular inspection by our food inspectors which is going on in full swing on a regular basis will continue,” said a senior KMC official of the Food Safety wing. This wing comes under the aegis of the Health department of the civic body. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataThe Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) have certain guidelines for those associated with food business so that the food that they serve to customers conform to standards. “We will be examining whether the vendors have valid FSSAI licence, whether they are using artificial colours and other requisites in maintaining food hygiene. The use of ice in drinks will also be under strong supervision. We have been conducting raids for the last two years to stop the use of industrial ice in drinks,” the official added. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateThe KMC’s food drive has received a major boost with the recruitment of 80 contractual staffs. A team of six officials has been formed for all the 16 boroughs under the civic body for taking up food drive. Each team will be led by a food inspector . The necessary training has already been provided to these new recruitees. The mobile food testing laboratory introduced by KMC in October last year is used in drive during weekends. It checks food quality right at the spot after picking up random samples from eateries.