Berlin, Aug 25 (PTI) Scientist have identified brain regions that make people procrastinate — to put tasks off rather than tackling them directly. Also Read - 'I Was Poisoned', Senior ISRO Scientist Tapan Misra Claims in Facebook Post

Researchers at Ruhr-Universitat Bochum in Germany used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), to identified two brain areas whose volume and functional connectivity are linked to an individual’s ability to control their actions. Also Read - Top Nuclear Scientist killed by Satellite-controlled Machine Gun With ‘Artificial Intelligence’: Iran

They examined 264 women and men in an MRI scanner. They assessed the volume of individual brain regions and the functional connectivity between them. In addition, all participants completed a survey measuring their own ability to execute action control. Also Read - Iranian Leader Khamenei Urges 'Punishing' of those Behind Scientist's Killing

Individuals with poor action control had a larger amygdala. Moreover, the functional connection between the amygdala and the so-called dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dorsal ACC) was less pronounced.

The primary function of the amygdala is to assess different situations with regard to their respective outcomes and to warn us about potential negative consequences of particular actions.

The dorsal ACC uses this information in order to select actions that are to be put into practice. Moreover, by suppressing competing actions and emotions, it ensures that the selected action can be successfully completed If the interplay between amygdala and dorsal ACC is impaired, action control can no longer be successfully executed, according to the theory put forward by the researchers.

“Individuals with a higher amygdala volume may be more anxious about the negative consequences of an action – they tend to hesitate and put off things,” said Erhan Genc, from Ruhr-Universitat Bochum.

“Due to a low functional connection between amygdala and dorsal ACC, this effect may be augmented, as interfering negative emotions and alternative actions might not be sufficiently regulated,” said Genc.

Future studies will have to show if the degree of action control can be modified through specific training or brain stimulation.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.