Researchers at McGill have clearly identified, for the first time, the specific parts of the brain involved in decisions that call for delayed gratification. In a paper recently published in the European Journal of Neuroscience, they demonstrated that the hippocampus (associated with memory) and the nucleus accumbens (associated with pleasure) work together in making critical decisions of this type, where time plays a role. The researchers showed that when these two structures were effectively ‘disconnected’ in the brain, there is a disruption of decisions related to delayed gratification.
In their paper, “From ‘Where’ to ‘What’: Distributed Representations of Brand Associations in the Human Brain (Journal of Marketing Research: August 2015, Vol. 52, No. 4), co-authors Ming Hsu and Leif Nelson, Berkeley-Haas marketing professors, and Yu-Ping Chen, Berkeley-Haas Ph.D., used fMRI to test a classic marketing proposition that consumers associate human-like characteristics to brands. The authors say the results provide marketers with a rigorous method that they can potentially use to verify core customer insights.
Yoga classes were linked to better back-related function and diminished symptoms from chronic low back pain in the largest U.S. randomized controlled trial of yoga to date, published by the Archives of Internal Medicine. But so were intensive stretching classes.
“We found yoga classes more effective than a self-care book–but no more effective than stretching classes,” said study leader Karen J. Sherman, PhD, MPH, a senior investigator at Group Health Research Institute. Back-related function was better and symptoms were diminished with yoga at 12 weeks; and clinically important benefits, including less use of pain medications, lasted at least six months for both yoga and stretching, with thorough follow-up of more than nine in 10 participants.