Scientists Locate Christmas Spirit In The Brain

12/19/2015 at 11:03 | Forbes

All hail neuroscience: A new study uses MRI scans to understand why, neurologically speaking, some people are so into the holiday spirit, while others seem to lack it entirely. In the always-zany Christmas issue of the BMJ, a new study reports that people who enjoy Christmas have measurably different activity in certain areas of the brain. On the flipside, silence in this “Christmas network” may be associated with a decided Scrooginess, which may or not be treatable. But the researchers have hope, one day, for a cure for all the poor souls who “bah humbug” their way through the holiday season again and again.

“Accurate localisation of the Christmas spirit is a paramount first step in being able to help this group of patients,” the authors write in their tongue-in-cheek study, which was an unanticipated byproduct of a serious study on migraines and the brain.

The team looked at 10 people who were self-professed Christmas celebrators, and 10 who did not celebrate the holiday. They had the participants look at images of Christmas-related pictures, and pictures of everyday items, and scanned their brains using MRI. They noted several differences between the two groups.

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