How does the song go again? ‘Tis the season to be jolly because my true love gave to me a silent night? Something more or less on those lines. For most people Christmas is more about giving and sharing and caring for one another, than singing carols. For others, Christmas is just another date in the calendar. But something does take place inside of us, once the jolly celebrations draw near. Father Christmas was caught on tape, and we can say that he looks quite stupendous.
Actually, there’s a bit more about that Christmas spirit than we believe. Wanting to solve the century-old riddle why Christmas equals celebration for other and why it’s considered a nuisance by other, a group of Danish medical researchers took it upon themselves to see where Santa hides his secret stash of goodies.
And so, in the anticipations of the jolly ho’, ho’, ho’ Yuletide, the researchers from Denmark, managed to put their hands on Santa and threw him under the proverbial looking glass. They wanted to find out what ticks inside us when we get into the jolly mood. According to their findings, when a patient is exposed to pictures or conversations about Christmas, several area in the brain light out like the proverbial Christmas tree.
But, according to their findings, the brain areas which have discovered to house feeling towards Christmas, are different for each individual, hence the diverse attitudes towards this season, ranging from joy and anticipation to disgust, annoyance and repulsion.
In order to see how our brain works, the Danish researchers choose several individuals for this study. Then the study group was split off into two smaller groups. The first group was comprised of people who enjoyed the Yuletide, whilst the second group was comprised with people who harbored no affiliation to Christmas. For the second group, the researchers selected members from different ethnicities such as Pakistani, Iraq, Indian and Turkish.
A total number of volunteers were drafted for this research project. As part of the study, a member from each group was exposed to different pictures or movies related to Christmas. Then, by using a highly-advanced MRI scanner, the Danish researcher were able to map out the areas of the brain which responded to those images.
According to the study’s results, in each participant, a total number of five areas of the brain were active during the movie projections. These five areas are mainly associated with spiritual experiences, harboring the sharing feeling with other people and they also discovered that there’s a certain area which reacts when we share a meal with our family.