By Robbie Owens


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ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – Researchers at the University of Texas in Arlington are testing a new theory involving emotions and anger management.

Experts at the campus are trying to determine what is happening in the brain before emotions such as anger takeover.

In this study, participants wear devices similar to a swim cap. The caps are equipped with 32 electrodes that measure electrical signals in the brain. The subjects then watch videos designed to trigger boredom, joy and anger.

“We can predict when people are going to get angry based on the stimuli we’re putting together,” said UTA associate professor Jodi Tommerdahl. “And that tells us afterwards when we put them together, this is what an angry brain looks like.”

Researchers hope they can eventually build a device that can be worn like a hat. With this device, they hope it can help, for example, violent offenders manage the emotions that often lead to trouble.

“We could actually provide them with a warning: you’re getting angry, you may not be aware of it, but it’s coming, we can tell it from your brain,” said Tommerdahl. “[It would] give them an opportunity to take a step back.”

There is much work still to do, but she said some surprising differences are emerging based on age in the emotion mapping project.

“It could lead to treatments for veterans with PTSD,” said Tommerdahl. “The possibilities are really endless.”

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