A study published in the Christmas issue of the BMJ found evidence of the Christmas spirit in the human brain.

Researchers in Copenhagen took 10 healthy people who celebrate Christmas and 10 healthy people who don’t.

Participants’ brains were scanned using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while shown a variety of similar pictures – some containing Christmas-themed shots and others not.

No surprise here: those who celebrate Christmas had more brain activation when shown Christmas images than non-celebrators.

The researchers conclude that there is a “Christmas spirit network” in the brain spanning many cortical areas. This network was more active in people who celebrate Christmas and propagated positive associations in comparison to less brain activity and neutral associations in those who don’t celebrate Christmas.

For more:

How to get into the Christmas spirit when you don’t feel it anymore

The study in the BMJ Christmas issue

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