Thursday, May 1, 2008

Sex and Financial Risk Linked in Brain

There are probably few people who have not seen some version of this cartoon showing the differences between male and female brains.

Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is beginning to uncover a much more realistic -- but no less wacky -- map of brain differences between men and women. For example, take the following report from the journal NeuroReport:
Knutson B, Wimmer GE, Kuhnen CM, Winkielman P. Nucleus accumbens activation mediates the influence of reward cues on financial risk taking. NeuroReport March 26, 2008 19(5):509-513.

The money quote (so to speak):
"...we predicted and found that anticipation of viewing rewarding stimuli (erotic pictures for 15 heterosexual men) increased financial risk taking..."
In other words, erotic pictures caused these men to take bigger monetary gambles than pictures of neutral (household appliances) or scary objects (snakes and spiders).

Who could have seen that coming? Let's just hope that the casinos and advertising agencies never get wind of this.

(via Chicago Tribune)


Vijay said...

You've been tagged.

The Samurai Radiologist said...

@ vijay: 6 word invitation: I respectfully decline.