Has it happened to you that when someone mentions that they want to go to the bathroom, they also inexplicably give you the urge to urinate? This phenomenon is not yet completely deciphered, but it is known that it is real and that it obeys a determined brain activity .
From a psychological point of view, when a person hears another saying that they want to urinate, it can produce an "anchoring" effect; that is, an association between stimulus and emotional response. Something similar to feeling hungry just because of seeing food, sneezing because someone else does, or crying when a close person cries.
This sensation can also be due to the organic expression of emotional changes, such as feelings of loneliness, anguish or helplessness, although it can also mean hostility, spite or jealousy, both in adults and children.
According to the doctor Benjamín Domínguez, specialist of the Faculty of Psychology of National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) , this may be due to several reasons: by simple contagion, by imitation (due to a social issue), or by a complex process of empathy , in which the movement and the internal process are copied.
In our mind, there are various processes related to the contagion of the urge to urinate, such as the so-called "social brain", which is a type of brain developed with mirror neurons, which regulate this sensation and that, moreover, is more frequent in women than in men, and in young people, more than in adults.
Another cause, regulated by the mirror neurons, is the Phenomenon of social cognition or Theory of the mind, by means of which it is explained that certain internal changes occur in the brain one person only because of the closeness to another, as in the case of patients with chronic pain .
This theory, says the UNAM psychologist, also happens during the infatuation , because we invent another person a series of qualities, virtues or defects that he does not have, making us sensitive to his presence or absence at different levels.
An environment full of unfavorable sensations, which lead to stress or to the anxiety , could turn on "an alarm system" that starts up when our brain interprets that there may be a problem.
In this sense, under a continuous state stress , a person has reduced their ability to be sensitive, which is why the contagion of the urge to urinate can be considered an important marker of social behavior.
As happens in other processes of imitation, such as laughter or discrimination, this phenomenon has relevance since it allows determining the status of a patient with pain , for the affection they feel or fail to feel, as in some patients with Cancer , explains the specialist.
In addition, according to studies conducted in patients with pain at National Medical Center November 20 of the ISSSTE , it is known that those people who copy the urge to urinate have more immunological defenses, compared to those who do not.
It is about the so-called social sensitivity, where our emotions qualify our actions, becoming, in addition, a way to evaluate how sociable, empathic and / or supportive a person is.
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