Winning Is A Brain Changer

July 11, 2010 7:25 am 3 comments

Does the experience of winning change our brains? Some researchers at the University of Wisconsin think it may. The LA Times reports that researchers showed that experiencing a win caused changes in the brains
that enhanced the ability to win in the future, and
that winning at home had a particular effect, causing more activity in
male hormone receptors in brain regions thought to influence social
aggression.  The Times reports that “the researchers paired territorial male mice who had winning experience with
smaller and sexually inexperienced male mice in various settings, such
as home cages and neutral settings. After the mice fought the researchers examined the brains of the mice and compared them to
similar mice that were not paired for fights. The mice that won both
home and away victories had increased expression of hormone receptors
in their brains. But only the brains of mice that won in their home
cages showed increased hormone sensitivity in two areas of the brain
thought to control motivation and reward. Mice that won at home also
won more fights with larger and tougher mice when fighting in neutral
locations.”

Read an abstract from the study here.

Read more in the LA Times.

3 Comments

  • GiveMEABreak

    I cant believe it? Winning makes you do better and want to do better and changes you in a more positive way? No way!

  • …the mice who won most at home also had more satisfying sex lives and drove nicer cars… ;o)

  • Yes, winning my change the brain in some positive fashion such a new pathways for the learned experience of how victory was achieved however, losing, espeically in certain contact sports such as boxing, wrestling, rugby and full contact karate, etc., loosing can cause some changes in your brain….ever see an old boxer trying to count to three and trying to use both hands to do it and still not be able to figure it out…ouch (I’ll take ‘em in the next round, it was just a lucky punch).

Leave a Reply


Recent Posts

  • Eating Well Pain Artificial Sweeteners May Pose Real Threat To Glucose Levels

    Artificial Sweeteners May Pose Real Threat To Glucose Levels

    Artificial sweeteners, used to avoid the health risks of real sugar, turn out to have their own problems. The New York Times reports that the sweeteners have been found to “disrupt the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar, causing metabolic changes that can be a precursor to diabetes.” The research, conducted at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, suggests that the sweeteners alter bacteria in the digestive system such that it changes the metabolism of glucose, causing levels to rise higher […]

    Read more →
  • Fitness Pain Q: How Many Viruses Does A Healthy Person Harbor? A: Five

    Q: How Many Viruses Does A Healthy Person Harbor? A: Five

    Congratulations, you’re healthy. Your family thanks you. So do the several viruses that reside happily in your body. After all, for most viruses, healthy bodies make such comfortable homes. Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis are persuaded that healthy people carry an average of five types of viruses on their body, all without any physical symptoms that might tip off the owner of the body. A Wash U news release reports that when researchers looked for viruses in 102 healthy […]

    Read more →
  • Pain Sex Male Pattern Baldness Linked To Aggressive Prostate Cancer

    Male Pattern Baldness Linked To Aggressive Prostate Cancer

    Before you order up a PSA test, consider this: male pattern baldness affects about 70 percent of men at some point in their lives. And now the possibly disturbing news: in a recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, male pattern baldness has been associated with aggressive prostate cancer. So, does that mean men with male pattern baldness face a higher risk of aggressive prostate cancer? Not necessarily. Let’s look at the numbers. Science Daily reports that from 1993 […]

    Read more →
  • Eating Well Pain Watching, Yes Just Watching Football Can Be Bad For Your Health

    Watching, Yes Just Watching Football Can Be Bad For Your Health

    Perhaps the strangest thing about the warning that just watching football can be bad for your health is its origin: the University of Alabama, home of the Crimson Tide, and a place where watching football is basically a required course. But it’s true. The university has issued a news release advising sports fans everywhere that “the excitement of football, and even the activities and feelings of anticipation leading up to games, can be unhealthy in ways many do not realize.” […]

    Read more →
  • Gear Pain Women's Health Polyester Stinks, Especially After Exercise

    Polyester Stinks, Especially After Exercise

    Bacteria were never known for their taste in sportswear, so it’s not surprising that, yes, they much prefer polyester to cotton. A news release from the American Society of Microbiology reports on a recent study at Ghent University that examined clothing from 26 healthy people who had done an intense one-hour spinning session. The researchers incubated the athletes’ shirts for 28 hours, then had them inspected by “a trained odor panel.” OK. They also took a look at the amount […]

    Read more →
  • Uncategorized How To Drink Less: Pour Less

    How To Drink Less: Pour Less

    Researchers at Iowa State University and Cornell recently combined resources for a study that revealed that people who pour less wine drink less wine. It’s true. An Iowa State news release reports that the researchers asked 74 college students and staff to pour wine in a variety of settings so that they could control for the size, shape and color of the glass, as well as if wine is poured with a meal. They poured both red and white wine […]

    Read more →
  • Fitness Pain For Boomers, Meniscus Repair No Better Than No Repair

    For Boomers, Meniscus Repair No Better Than No Repair

    Looking for the best surgeon to repair a torn meniscus? Four million people do that every year. Yet now comes research from McMaster University that suggests they should stop looking and start physical therapy. A McMaster news release reports that researchers at the school reviewed seven studies involving 805 patients (average age 56) that looked at the success of surgical repairs of partial meniscus tears. What did they find? The envelope please…four of the studies found no short-term pain relief in the […]

    Read more →
  • Fitness Pain More Exercise = More Tolerance For Pain

    More Exercise = More Tolerance For Pain

    It’s not news, as Gretchen Reynolds writes in the New York Times, that our tolerance for pain increases when we exercise–and she means at the time we exercise. Everyone knows that. But it is news, as she reports, that exercise has been shown to increase our tolerance for pain in the long term. Reynolds directs our attention to a study done at University of New South Wales and Neuroscience Research Australia and published in Medicine & Science in Sports & […]

    Read more →