The recent tragedy in Arizona isn't just fodder for political debate, but an example of how, collectively, we react to loss. On a more personal level, a 2008 study illustrated just how widespread the effect of negative personal events can be, and how deeply the brain reacts to grief.
Three finance professors from major business schools tracked the performance of 75,000 Danish companies in the 2 years before and after the CEO had experienced a family death. Financial performance declined 20% after the loss of a child, 15% after the death of a spouse, and almost 10% after the demise of any other family member.
Studies show that in the brain images of people who are grieving, increased activity is seen along a broad network of neurons. These link areas associated not only with mood but also with memory, perception, conceptualization, and even the regulation of the heart, the digestive system, and other organs. This shows the pervasive impact loss or even disappointment canRead More »from Why grief can actually change your brain