What does the brain look like when you watch your sports team lose and win?! What does the brain look like when you watch your sports team lose and win?!

What does the brain look like when you watch your sports team lose and win?!

What does the brain look like when you watch your sports team lose and win?!

Sports fans experience a kind of joy when their favorite team wins in football or other games, but watching a loss has the opposite effect, and these feelings can be detected in our brains.
Researchers at the Alemana de Santiago Clinic in Chile scanned the brains of soccer fans and found that the sight of their team scoring a goal against the opponent lights up the area associated with reward. When their team lost, the network of brain regions involved in the thinking process became more active, indicating an attempt to understand what had just happened.

In other words, we feel satisfied when we watch our team score a goal, and we try to justify it when the opposite happens.

“This study aims to shed light on the behaviors and dynamics associated with intense competition, aggression, and social affiliation within and between groups of sports fanatics,” study researcher Francisco Zamorano Mendieta said in a statement.

Zamorano and his colleagues recruited 43 Chilean soccer fans for the study: 22 fans of Colo-Colo and 21 fans of Universidad de Chile.

Participants watched a series of games while their brains were scanned with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

When study participants watched their team score a goal against a rival, the scientists saw the ventral striatum, caudate nucleus, and lenticular nucleus become active.

The ventral striatum, located in the forebrain, is a hub in the reward network, connecting multiple regions. The caudate nucleus, located a little deeper inside the brain, supports learning and memory. Immediately adjacent to it is the lentiform nucleus, which is involved in working memory, executive function, and learning.

These three brain regions form an important part of the reward network, which gives us a dose of the chemical dopamine that makes us feel happy when we accomplish something, or in the case of sports, when we watch our team win.

When fans watched their team score goals, a different set of brain regions were activated. The network called “mindset” supports our ability to reflect on our own state of mind and that of others.

The researchers suspect that this may be a mental defense mechanism against the pain of loss - like the way you might start justifying failure by saying, "If only he had jumped sooner," right after watching your team lose.

But something else happens at the same time when the network of thinking lights up. The dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) is disrupted, which may increase a person's likelihood of behaving disruptively or violently.

The dACC is the brain's hub, connecting the limbic system, which is associated with behavioral and emotional responses, to the frontal cortex, which supports self-management and decision-making.

In other words, when you watch your favorite team perform poorly, the area of ​​the brain that connects multiple areas associated with self-control and decision-making becomes less active. This can increase the likelihood of disruptive or violent behavior.

“When you lose, the mental network can be activated, which takes the fan into a state of confusion,” Zamorano said.

The results were presented at the annual conference of the Radiological Society of North America.


German study warns that daily drinks increase the risk of “brain-stealing” disease.

It is known that what we eat affects our overall health, but what we drink may also play an important role when it comes to brain health.
German scientists found that excessive consumption of drinks containing a high percentage of added sugars increases the risk of dementia.

They found that this included fruit drinks, flavored milk drinks and full-fat soft drinks.

Fruit juices, which contain natural sugars, have also been linked to brain theft, but to a lesser extent.

The study showed that tea and coffee do not increase the risk of dementia at all. Scientists do not fully know why increasing sugar intake can increase the risk of developing the disease. But some studies suggest that sugar can cause inflammation, which is thought to play a role in neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer's disease, the most common form of the condition.

The study, published in Springer Nature, looked at how eating sugar in its various forms affects the risk of dementia.

They analyzed the diets of 186,622 participants in the UK Biobank, an online database of medical and lifestyle records, aged 37 to 73, for up to ten years, and 1,498 cases of dementia were recorded during that period.

General health, such as body mass index (BMI), socioeconomic status, and family health history, were taken into account.

The scientists from the University of Giessen wrote that consuming beverages containing added sugars and natural sugars "is significantly associated with the risk of developing dementia."

This is compared to eating foods containing added or natural sugars, which have not been found to have a "significant association" with dementia.

Separate studies have found that getting sugar in liquid form is much worse than getting it from solid foods.

This is partly because the brain does not register calories from liquid sugar as it does calories from solid foods.

Drinking calories does not trigger the same satiety signals as eating them. This means you end up eating more and run the risk of gaining weight.

In addition to promoting weight gain, liquid sugar calories can lead to high blood sugar levels and insulin resistance, which can lead to diabetes.
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