How you get your kicks is wired into your brain

wired to be a food loverWhat makes you really really happy. Not haha happy, more self fulfilled, in the zone, kind of happy ?

Music, chocolate, sex ………….

Your preferences are wired into your brain and are impacting on your hedonistic behaviours.

Brain scan psychic

Reasearchers from Dartmouth University have discovered that brain scanning you today, can predict what you will do tomorrow.

I know it is a little creepy, but the wiring in nuclear accumbens, your reward centre, dictates what you find cool. And you ultimately do, what your brain says is cool.

First years get scanned

The team scanned the brain’s of a group of first year college students, as they arrived on campus. The students did volunteer, it wasn’t a requirement to be admitted onto the campus !

The type of scan performed was a fMRI – this machine is able to pick up your “unconscious” responses by measuring blood flow.

The student’s reaction to a wide variety of images was documented. The images include animals, beautiful scenery, yummy food items and some good looking peeps.

Bleeps on the radar in response to…

As expected, what lit people’s buttons varied among the participants on the day.

But it really became interesting when the research team tracked down the participants 6 months into their first year “away” from home. What happened to these students when there was no beady eye of Mom or Dad to watch what they were up to.

Food lovers were…………you guessed it, fatter.

People lovers were…………….. loving lots of people. I don’t mean in an altruistic love thy neighbour way, we’re talking in a steamy passionate in the bedroom kind of way.

You do what your brain thinks is cool

Yup, it all boils down to satisfying the desires of the whimsical part of your brain, which is your personal fun faire, the nuclear accumbens.

There lots of ways to buy tickets, the way you do it, depends on how you’re wired.

Of course, we’re not all that sure what determines how you are wired. Probably a little bit of genes and a lot of environment i.e. previous experiences, good or bad.

Guarding your willpower

Maybe you feel a little doomed…………… if you’re wired for bedroom exercising or kitchen exercising, both can leave you with significant health “troubles”.

The Dartmouth team put a positive spin on this roadblock to self-control by pointing out, just because you like it, doesn’t mean you HAVE to do it.

Willpower is a verb

The WILLPOWER comes from understanding how you are wired. Armed with this knowledge, you could short circuit the wiring – it won’t automatically happen, you need to work at it !

Pinch yourself, use a bait and switch tactic and if it is a food problem, watch who you’re hanging out with and get your body chemistry working for you, not against you.

Try 31 days to better body chemistry

Individual Differences in Nucleus Accumbens Activity to Food and Sexual Images Predict Weight Gain and Sexual Behavior.  J Neuroscience (2012) 32(16): 5549 – 5552.  Kathryn E. Demos,  Todd F Heatherton, William M Kelly.

Interested in learning more about the chemistry behind those cravings ? 

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Further reading

dark chocolate giving the hunger neuron a fright omega-3 resisting alcohol craving tired eyes see things differently
Chocoholics go dark to lessen food cravings How to stop alcohol cravings when you’re feeling low Are your tired eyes causing you to crave sugar ?

The 7 Big Spoons™…. are master switches that turn health on.

balance eicosanoids rein in insulin dial down stress sleep vitamin D microflora think
Balance Eicosanoids Rein in insulin Dial down stress Sleep ! Increase Vit D Culivate microflora Think champion

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Did you learn something new or do you have a different perspective ? I’d love to hear from you so post me a comment below

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  2. By » Blog Archive » Round up 21 May – 25 May on May 25, 2012 at 1:18 pm

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