Brain and Behavior, Mindfulness

The Self-Absorbed Brain

Ever been accused of being self-absorbed? Well new research confirms that you are…but don’t feel too bad about it. Your brain is automatically and instinctively self-centered; in fact, all healthy human brains are!

The Association for Psychological Science published a fascinating research study on the apparent automaticity of the human brain’s self-absorption. Participants were tested across four different experiments in which arbitrary colors were assigned to either stranger, friend, or self. Results revealed a consistently faster response time to whichever color was associated with self – regardless of frequency or length of time the other colors were presented.

Researchers concluded that this demonstrated an automatic self-centered bias within brain function. These findings reveal our natural self-absorption and may translate into the neurological automaticity of self-preference in decision making.

If this feels unsettling, hold on to hope! There is growing evidence that practicing mindfulness can impact feelings of compassion, generosity, and loving-kindness. Research from Frontiers in Human Neuroscience offers a compelling perspective on mindfulness training and the resulting improvements in psychological well-being. While we might all instinctively be self-absorbed…practicing mindfulness of others can help us modify decisions and behaviors to move toward a more charitable and generous aspect!


Check out the original research:

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