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MRI Technologist
MRI Technologistover 5 years ago

We can use fMRI brain scans to detect our levels of Christmas Spirit, according to a new study in the BMJ. fMRI scans measure blood flow and blood oxygenation in specific areas of the brain in response to neural activity. These scans can map out pathways involved in particular mental processes—perfect for detecting brain activity during peak Christmas Spirit. In this particular study, researchers hooked 20 volunteers up to fMRI (“no eggnog or gingerbread was consumed before the scans,” the researchers note) and showed them Christmas-themed images. Afterwards, the participants answered a survey about their Christmas memories and traditions. The results highlighted five clusters of activity that differed strongly between participants who celebrated Christmas and those who did not. Specifically, the scientists found increased brain activity near the frontal premotor cortex, somatosensory cortex and the parietal lobule in people who celebrated Christmas—in other words, a functional Christmas network woven into the human brain.

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