'Bah humbug' syndrome located in brain

'Bah humbug' syndrome located in brain

Scientists have uncovered where the Christmas spirit exists in the brain, which could be a powerful tool in treating "bah humbug" syndrome.

The Christmas spirit phenomenon is described as feelings of merriment, joy and nostalgia associated with the giving of gifts, delightful smells, and good food.

However, Danish researchers estimate that "millions of people are prone to displaying Christmas spirit deficiencies," which they refer to as the "bah humbug" syndrome.

To understand more about the Christmas spirit, the team of researchers scanned the brains of 10 people who celebrated Christmas, and 10 others who had no Christmas traditions, while they watched a series of festive images.

The study, published in the British Medical Journal, found five areas of the brain that responded to Christmas images with a higher activation among people who celebrated Christmas.

However, the authors of the study say further research is needed and "something as magical and complex as the Christmas spirit cannot be fully explained by, or limited to, the mapped brain activity alone".

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