Build your confidence by manipulating brain activity

Self confidence can be directly amplified in the brain

A new experiment found a way to change people’s brain activity to make them feel more confident.  This experiment may find application in the future in helping people activate positive behavior.

The brain is to this day still a great unknown to us. No one knows what is really happening in one’s mind. Self-confidence is an essential quality to succeed in the world. Both personally and professionally. Some has it too much, some people none. An international team of researchers discovered that self-confidence can actually be directly amplified in the brain. Cool, right?

According to a recent discovery, confidence, or a lack thereof, is an important factor in mental illnesses such as depression and Alzheimer’s disease.  We could say that for people suffering from either of these conditions, is twice as hard. And that’s all because they already might feel like their brain capacity is diminished. Confidence is also linked to success in business, politics and other aspects of everyday life, so the ability to increase it may have various applications. For example, in medicine or business.

The international research team,  including researchers from Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International (ATR) in Japan, used brain scanning technology to monitor and detect when brain activity occurs in specific complex patterns. This technique is known as “Decoded Neurofeedback”.

The experiment

There were 17 participants in this experiment. Which is not much, but within the framework of similar studies. They performed a simple perceptual task. Each time the signs of high confidence were detected, the scientists gave participants a small monetary reward. This had the effect of boosting participants confidence. Participants were oblivious that such manipulation took place.

What is more interesting perhaps, this newly-found confidence remained for some time. At the end of the experiment, when participants were asked to rate their levels of confidence, they said they felt more confident than at the beginning.

The study is published in the journal Nature Communications.