ABSTRACT Happiness is a positive feeling characterized by satisfaction, joy, pleasure, or love. Perceived happiness level is likely associated with health and well-being. However, the neurobiological mechanisms underlying the positive effects of happiness on psychological and physiological wellness remain obscure. In this study, we found that the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) was strongly activated and positive emotions were strongly evoked in individuals with high perceived happiness levels compared to those with low perceived happiness levels when either looked at a favorite person. Moreover, positive mood changes were positively correlated with MPFC activity. These results show that perceived happiness level is associated with positive emotion evocation by means of the MPFC function, which may be involved in psychological and physiological wellness. Therefore, happiness may play an important role in psychological and physiological wellness.
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