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).

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