In a recent interesting project done by Giuliani NR et al (Guiliani NR, et al, Emotion Regulation and Brain Plasticity: Expressive Suppression use predicts anterior insula volume Neuroimage; 2011 58(1) 10-15), they showed that expressive suppression of emotion, significantly increases the volume of the left anterior insula. Interestingly they also found that cognitive reappraisal and negative affect do not produce such a change. Even if the latest two emotional states are similar to emotion suppression, the effect on brain volume was different.
This corroborates my thinking mentioned in a previous blog entry, that neuroplasticity and bran fitness are very specific to a particular brain circuit. By training a particular brain circuit with a specific activity this should not interfere with another brain circuit.
In my opinion brain fitness will generalize only to the activities related to the brain circuit particularly trained.
Adolfo Cotter, MD