The Shared Brain Reply

Lauren F. Friedman, Psychology Today

Self-regulation once seemed to be a solo project. But “a new line of research is showing how the brain “outsources” regulatory tasks to others,” explains Mario Mikulincer, editor of the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. To conserve brain resources for tasks like learning, people may lean on close partners, offloading some of the burden of controlling impulses and emotions. An individual may not be able to calm himself, but if a partner can calm him, the end result is similar.

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