Compassion May Protect Against Depression

 by CHRISTINE HSU

Compassion may help guard adolescents from depression, according to a new study.


New research found that 15- and 16-year-olds who feel like giving is more pleasurable than getting are less likely to become depressed.

Researchers looked at activity of the ventral striatum, a brain region that controls feelings of pleasure in response to rewards. 

Past studies reveal that the ventral striatum activity tends to be more pronounced in adolescence. Researchers said the findings suggest that people at this age experience the pleasure of rewards more intensely than their younger or older counterparts.

Lead researcher Eva Telzer of the University of Illinois said this makes sense, as people are significantly more likely to take risks during adolescent years.

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they show higher reward activation in

the pro-social context, they show

declines in depression. 
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