Saturday, November 20, 2004

Wired News: Dems, GOP: Who's Got the Brains?

Wired News: Dems, GOP: Who's Got the Brains?: "Last month, Drs. Joshua Freedman and Marco Iacoboni of the University of California at Los Angeles finished scanning the brains of 10 Republicans and 10 Democrats. Each viewed images of President Bush, John Kerry and Ralph Nader.
When viewing their favorite candidate, all showed increased activity in the region implicated in empathy. And when viewing the opposition, all had increased blood flow in the region where humans consciously assert control over emotions � suggesting the volunteers were actively attempting to dislike the opposition.
Nonetheless, some differences appeared between the brain activity of Democrats and Republicans. Take empathy: One Democrat's brain lit up at an image of Kerry 'with a profound sense of connection, like a beautiful sunset,' Freedman said. Brain activity in a Republican shown an image of Bush was 'more interpersonal, such as if you smiled at someone and they smiled back.'"

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Science Blog - Brain regions activated by food craving overlap with drug craving: " Researchers have used functional magnetic resonance imaging to reveal that food cravings activate brain areas related to emotion, memory and reward -- areas also activated during drug-craving studies. ''This is consistent with the idea that cravings of all kinds, whether for food, drugs, or designer shoes, have common mechanisms.'' Studies of food craving, possibly the evolutionary basis of all craving behavior, may provide insight into drug craving and how it contributes to maintenance and relapse of drug addiction.

From Monell Chemical Senses Center :

Brain regions activated by food craving overlap with areas implicated in drug craving

Researchers at the Monell Chemical Senses Center and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to reveal that food cravings activate brain areas related to emotion, memory and reward -- areas also activated during drug-craving studies. Study lead author Marcia Levin Pelchat, PhD, a Monell Center sensory psychologist, comments, ''This is consistent with the idea that cravings of all kinds, whether for food, drugs, or designer shoes, have common mechanisms.''

Studies of food craving, possibly the evolutionary basis of all craving behavior, may provide insight into drug craving and how it contributes to maintenance and relapse of drug addiction. Pelchat notes, ''Identifying the brain regions involved can tell us a great deal about the normal and pathological neurochemistry of craving, and in turn, lead us to better pharmacological treatments for obesity and drug addiction.''"