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

  • Fitness Pain New Treadmill Test Reveals Life Expectancy

    New Treadmill Test Reveals Life Expectancy

    Who know how long we will live? Apparently, the treadmill does, and running on it for a few minutes can give doctors the numbers they need to predict your future, such as it is. Science Daily reports that after analyzing data from 58,000 heart stress tests, cardiologists at Johns Hopkins have come up with a new algorithm (called FIT) that can gauge long-term death risk in anyone based solely on treadmill exercise performance. Scores on the test ranged from negative 200 to […]

    Read more →
  • Eating Well Fitness Pain For Post-Exercise Pain, Yes, Mussels

    For Post-Exercise Pain, Yes, Mussels

    No, it’s not just clever wordplay. Researchers at Indiana University have shown that taking a supplement of omega-3 PCSO-524, a marine oil lipid derived from the New Zealand green-lipped mussel, significantly reduces post-exercise muscle damage. An Indiana University news release reports that the researchers tested 32 men who exercise less than three times a week for less than 30 minutes at a time — and randomly gave them either the marine oil supplement or a placebo for 26 days before a muscle-damaging […]

    Read more →
  • Fitness Gear Taking A Sauna May Be Good For The Heart

    Taking A Sauna May Be Good For The Heart

    It’s not exactly a strenuous cardio workout, but taking a sauna may diminish the risk of death from unfortunate cardiac event. Science Daily reports that researchers at the University of Eastern Finland looked at death rates from a sudden cardiac event and heart disease over a 21 year period in 2,315 middle-aged men (42 to 60 years old). What did they find? The envelope please….Compared with men who took one sauna a week, the risk of a sudden cardiac event was […]

    Read more →
  • Fitness Pain With Jogging, Less May Be More, Or Not

    With Jogging, Less May Be More, Or Not

    Yes, Virginia, jogging is good for your health, but it may be possible in the case of jogging to have too much of a good thing. A new Danish study that followed 1,100 healthy joggers and 413 sedentary people for more than 12 years suggests that people least likely to die are those who jog 1 to 2.4 hours per week, with no more than three running days per week.  HealthDay reports that the study found that strenuous joggers, –those who […]

    Read more →
  • Pain Women's Health Common Drugs Linked to Dementia

    Common Drugs Linked to Dementia

    No, not marijuana. The researchers at the University of Washington were looking at drugs like Benadryl, anti-depressants like Sinequan, anti-histamines like Chlor-Trimeton, and antimuscarinics for bladder control like Ditropan.  A university news release reports that the scientists, who tracked nearly 3,500 Group Health seniors participating in a long-running joint Group Health-UW study funded by the National Institute on Aging, found that such drugs, with anticholinergic effects, significantly increased risk for developing dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, in people who took them for longer […]

    Read more →
  • Pain Uncategorized Women's Health Research Suggests That Exercise Cuts Breast Cancer Risk

    Research Suggests That Exercise Cuts Breast Cancer Risk

    Can exercise really help to ward off breast cancer? Researchers at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque think so. The Wall Street Journal, reports that scientists at the school have been studying the cancer fighting effects of irisin, a hormone that is released from muscles after vigorous exercise. When the researchers tested genetically engineered irisin on aggressive breast-cancer cells and on nonmalignant breast cells, they found that irisin treatment reduced the number of malignant cells by 34 percent compared with untreated cells, […]

    Read more →
  • Eating Well Fitness Gear The Beet Juice Conundrum: Does It Boost Blood Flow?

    The Beet Juice Conundrum: Does It Boost Blood Flow?

    For years, athletes have been drinking beet juice before working out to increase blood flow to muscles and boost performance. Now comes a study from researchers at Penn State suggesting that the beet juice strategy was all for naught. A Penn State news release reports that while beetroot juice is in fact rich in nitrates, it did not enhance muscle blood flow or vascular dilation during exercise. The good news, although not necessarily for athletes, is that the researchers found that […]

    Read more →
  • Fitness Gear Sitting Is The New Smoking

    Sitting Is The New Smoking

    Yes, it’s yet another study on the health risks of too much sitting, which is now described, in some circles, as the new smoking. This study, a meta-analysis of others, comes from scientists at Toronto’s University Health Network (UHN) and Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, and like others, identifies a definite relationship between the amount of time a person sits everyday and heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and death. Wait, there’s more unsurprising news.  Science Daily reports that study found that the […]

    Read more →