Research
Print page Print page
Switch language
The Capital Region of Denmark - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital
Published

Evidence of a Christmas spirit network in the brain: functional MRI study

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Harvard

APA

CBE

MLA

Vancouver

Author

Bibtex

@article{bfa42c5f868346429d2892b58ff58981,
title = "Evidence of a Christmas spirit network in the brain: functional MRI study",
abstract = "OBJECTIVE: To detect and localise the Christmas spirit in the human brain.DESIGN: Single blinded, cross cultural group study with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).SETTING: Functional imaging unit and department of clinical physiology, nuclear medicine and PET in Denmark.PARTICIPANTS: 10 healthy people from the Copenhagen area who routinely celebrate Christmas and 10 healthy people living in the same area who have no Christmas traditions.MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Brain activation unique to the group with Christmas traditions during visual stimulation with images with a Christmas theme.METHODS: Functional brain scans optimised for detection of the blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) response were performed while participants viewed a series of images with Christmas themes interleaved with neutral images having similar characteristics but containing nothing that symbolises Christmas. After scanning, participants answered a questionnaire about their Christmas traditions and the associations they have with Christmas. Brain activation maps from scanning were analysed for Christmas related activation in the {"}Christmas{"} and {"}non-Christmas{"} groups individually. Subsequently, differences between the two groups were calculated to determine Christmas specific brain activation.RESULTS: Significant clusters of increased BOLD activation in the sensory motor cortex, the premotor and primary motor cortex, and the parietal lobule (inferior and superior) were found in scans of people who celebrate Christmas with positive associations compared with scans in a group having no Christmas traditions and neutral associations. These cerebral areas have been associated with spirituality, somatic senses, and recognition of facial emotion among many other functions.CONCLUSIONS: There is a {"}Christmas spirit network{"} in the human brain comprising several cortical areas. This network had a significantly higher activation in a people who celebrate Christmas with positive associations as opposed to a people who have no Christmas traditions and neutral associations. Further research is necessary to understand this and other potential holiday circuits in the brain. Although merry and intriguing, these findings should be interpreted with caution.",
author = "Anders Hougaard and Ulrich Lindberg and Nanna Arngrim and Larsson, {Henrik B W} and Jes Olesen and Amin, {Faisal Mohammad} and Messoud Ashina and Haddock, {Bryan Thomas}",
note = "Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://group.bmj.com/group/rights-licensing/permissions.",
year = "2015",
language = "English",
volume = "351",
pages = "h6266",
journal = "BMJ",
issn = "1756-1833",
publisher = "B M J Group",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Evidence of a Christmas spirit network in the brain

T2 - functional MRI study

AU - Hougaard, Anders

AU - Lindberg, Ulrich

AU - Arngrim, Nanna

AU - Larsson, Henrik B W

AU - Olesen, Jes

AU - Amin, Faisal Mohammad

AU - Ashina, Messoud

AU - Haddock, Bryan Thomas

N1 - Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://group.bmj.com/group/rights-licensing/permissions.

PY - 2015

Y1 - 2015

N2 - OBJECTIVE: To detect and localise the Christmas spirit in the human brain.DESIGN: Single blinded, cross cultural group study with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).SETTING: Functional imaging unit and department of clinical physiology, nuclear medicine and PET in Denmark.PARTICIPANTS: 10 healthy people from the Copenhagen area who routinely celebrate Christmas and 10 healthy people living in the same area who have no Christmas traditions.MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Brain activation unique to the group with Christmas traditions during visual stimulation with images with a Christmas theme.METHODS: Functional brain scans optimised for detection of the blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) response were performed while participants viewed a series of images with Christmas themes interleaved with neutral images having similar characteristics but containing nothing that symbolises Christmas. After scanning, participants answered a questionnaire about their Christmas traditions and the associations they have with Christmas. Brain activation maps from scanning were analysed for Christmas related activation in the "Christmas" and "non-Christmas" groups individually. Subsequently, differences between the two groups were calculated to determine Christmas specific brain activation.RESULTS: Significant clusters of increased BOLD activation in the sensory motor cortex, the premotor and primary motor cortex, and the parietal lobule (inferior and superior) were found in scans of people who celebrate Christmas with positive associations compared with scans in a group having no Christmas traditions and neutral associations. These cerebral areas have been associated with spirituality, somatic senses, and recognition of facial emotion among many other functions.CONCLUSIONS: There is a "Christmas spirit network" in the human brain comprising several cortical areas. This network had a significantly higher activation in a people who celebrate Christmas with positive associations as opposed to a people who have no Christmas traditions and neutral associations. Further research is necessary to understand this and other potential holiday circuits in the brain. Although merry and intriguing, these findings should be interpreted with caution.

AB - OBJECTIVE: To detect and localise the Christmas spirit in the human brain.DESIGN: Single blinded, cross cultural group study with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).SETTING: Functional imaging unit and department of clinical physiology, nuclear medicine and PET in Denmark.PARTICIPANTS: 10 healthy people from the Copenhagen area who routinely celebrate Christmas and 10 healthy people living in the same area who have no Christmas traditions.MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Brain activation unique to the group with Christmas traditions during visual stimulation with images with a Christmas theme.METHODS: Functional brain scans optimised for detection of the blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) response were performed while participants viewed a series of images with Christmas themes interleaved with neutral images having similar characteristics but containing nothing that symbolises Christmas. After scanning, participants answered a questionnaire about their Christmas traditions and the associations they have with Christmas. Brain activation maps from scanning were analysed for Christmas related activation in the "Christmas" and "non-Christmas" groups individually. Subsequently, differences between the two groups were calculated to determine Christmas specific brain activation.RESULTS: Significant clusters of increased BOLD activation in the sensory motor cortex, the premotor and primary motor cortex, and the parietal lobule (inferior and superior) were found in scans of people who celebrate Christmas with positive associations compared with scans in a group having no Christmas traditions and neutral associations. These cerebral areas have been associated with spirituality, somatic senses, and recognition of facial emotion among many other functions.CONCLUSIONS: There is a "Christmas spirit network" in the human brain comprising several cortical areas. This network had a significantly higher activation in a people who celebrate Christmas with positive associations as opposed to a people who have no Christmas traditions and neutral associations. Further research is necessary to understand this and other potential holiday circuits in the brain. Although merry and intriguing, these findings should be interpreted with caution.

M3 - Journal article

C2 - 26676562

VL - 351

SP - h6266

JO - BMJ

JF - BMJ

SN - 1756-1833

ER -

ID: 46267682