Researchers Using MRI to Find Christmas Spirit
Danish researchers said they are using MRI to look for evidence of the Christmas spirit in different people. The findings of this small study were published today in the British Medical Journal's annual Christmas issue.
The researchers for their study used tongue-in-cheek scientific methods to bring some humor into the scientific field.
They looked at 10 different participants who celebrated Christmas and 10 people who didn’t celebrate the holiday season. They asked the participants to fill questionnaires on their feeling towards Christmas.
Further in the study, the participants were showed different images, including Christmas-related imagery as they underwent an MRI.
Studying the MRI scan data, researchers found that those who celebrated Christmas appeared to have a significant increase in specific neural activation in certain area of their brain when they saw the Christmas images.
The study authors said the findings of the study are quite interesting. They said some more study is needed to find out whether this increase in neural activity happens in a larger group or the activity was indeed a sign of sustained Christmas spirit or if it was activated for any another reason.
According to study author, “Understanding how the Christmas spirit works as a neurological network could provide insight into an interesting area of human neuropsychology and be a powerful tool in treating ailments such as bah humbug syndrome”.
They also said some more study is required to understand how holiday traditions can leave a lasting impact on the brain.
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