Sunday, February 26, 2006

More Meme-Busting, More Uncertainty.

From The Times Online, reports that chat-rooms are constructive.

More predictably though, the article states that other research has found a link between excessive video gaming and obesity. However this leaves us wondering as to the definition of excessive since the heavy gamers we know are actually unusually thin, being far too busy to actually eat.

Also on a related theme: From the New Scientist, starving the stomach feeds the brain.

"A hormone that triggers hunger might also improve learning and memory. Ghrelin is released by the stomach when it is empty and triggers hunger by binding to the hypothalamus, a part of the brain that controls appetite and metabolism. However, the hormone is also known to interact with the hippocampus, the seat of learning and memory.

"Although the discovery is surprising, it makes evolutionary sense...If an animal is hungry, it needs extra brainpower and ingenuity to find that vital next meal. Perhaps the cognitive brain is a side-effect of hunger." Contrary to everything my mother and those adverts ever tell you, the researcher concludes "If you've got a big intellectual workload in the morning, it might be worth skipping breakfast.

This is all by way of saying: "Mother doesn't necessarily know best and I can't speak for you!" The old "Put your coat on - your mother is cold" really, really does have to go by the by.


Maia said...

Hm - maybe that explains why my daughter is such a slow learner - because I feed her when she wants me too! ;-)

Carlotta said... complicated! I do however remember that the anorexic girls at school (of whom there were many), were also very high achievers and that this didn't make much sense when I tried to marry it with the dictum that one should only go to school on a good breakfast!

Anonymous said...

It's a tantalising idea but far from clear cut, even in the quote itself. For instance, saying that they 'know the hormone ...interacts(s) with the hippocampus...' is not the same as being certain of what it is actually doing.

There has been, if I remember correctly, quite a bit of research into students' ability to work and focus at school in the morning following a good breakfast and without and the conclusion was that they did better when they had eaten. Will have to hunt it out...

Maybe those high achieving anorexics would have been even better with breakfast?


Leo said...

A good idea to not push food into those picky eaters. :)