Sara Macauley | Contributing Writer | Thursday, 17 December 2015

Scientists Discover There\\\\\\\'s A Specific Part Of The Brain For Christmas Spirit

Scientists Discover There's A Specific Part Of The Brain For Christmas Spirit

The Debrief: Christmas Spirit is an actual medical thing, you guys

The rivalry between Christmas lovers and Christmas haters during the festive season is well documented. Now, scientists believe they’ve discovered specific parts of the brain that identify which of us are Christmas jumper-clad fanatics and which are the scrooges reluctantly shuffling around the shops.

Christmas Spirit is an actual medical thing, you guys.

A study included in the Christmas Edition of The British Medical Journal was carried out by a team at Copenhagen University and used 20 participants to localise the Christmas Spirit in the human body. 

The participants were made up of 10 people who regularly participate in the season’s festivities and 10 who had never celebrated Christmas. Their brains were scanned as they were shown pictures of both Christmassy and non-Christmassy images, and the differences in the brain maps from the scans were analysed.

Results showed five areas of Christmas-specific brain activation where the Christmas-celebrating group responded with higher activation levels than the non-Christmas group. The areas of the brain where Christmas Spirit existed included those linked to spirituality, physical sense and the recognition of facial emotions.

The researchers noted that while ‘something as complex as the Christmas Spirit cannot be fully limited to the mapped brain activity alone,’ it’s fair to say that ‘millions of people are prone to displaying Christmas spirit deficiencies and accurate localisation of the Christmas spirit is a paramount first step in being able to help this group of patients.’

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