Voices from Russia

Friday, 29 June 2012

29 June 2012. Sergei Yolkin’s World. Scientists Found Out the Speed of Alcohol from Glass to Brain

Scientists Found Out the Speed of Alcohol from Glass to Brain

Sergei Yolkin



German scientists established the rate of penetration of alcohol in the human brain. They found that it takes alcohol six minutes to affect brain cells, the newspaper The Telegraph reported. One of the initiators of the experiment, neurologist Armin Biller, from the working group for cerebral metabolism at the Department of Neuroradiology at Heidelberg University Hospital, said that alcohol reduces the amount of chemicals that normally protect the brain cells. Moreover, alcohol affects not only the “defenders” of our brain cells, but also many other cellular components. Tests have also shown that changes in brain cells under the influence of alcohol does not depend on sex, and regenerative processes in the brain occur in a relatively short period of time in healthy adults, if alcoholic beverages are used in moderate quantities.

7 July 2010

Sergei Yolkin




Saturday, 21 August 2010

21 August 2010. Sergei Yolkin’s World. Fighting Bad Habits

Fighting Bad Habits

Sergei Yolkin



A group of US scientists established that there are specialised areas in the human brain that are responsible for the suppression of cravings, The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences said. The discovery might help in developing new methods to help people quit bad habits. A group of Yale University scientists led by Hedy Kober used an MRT scan to identify the activity of various fractions of the brain, the most commonly observed data found that when people strived to overcome their cravings, it activated the prefrontal cortex and decreased activity in the lower part of the corpus striatum. In their experiment, researchers showed 21 volunteers, who were habitual cigarette smokers, images of tasty food or cigarettes, and asked them to suppress their cravings to smoke or eat. According to their scans, the brain activity in these efforts led to activation of the prefrontal cortex and suppression in the corpus striatum, irrespective of whether participants were thinking about cigarettes or food. As the article noted, the scan showed that brain activity increased or shut down in the same zones, proving that a person is able to successfully control his cravings, regardless of whether he wants a habit-forming object, such as a cigarette, or something considered non-addictive, such as high-fat food.

3 August 2010

Sergei Yolkin



Editor’s Note:

The image on the left in the brain is a well-known and iconic image in Russian popular culture. It stemmed from a Soviet poster in the early 50s, with a fellow simply saying “no” to a drink. It has been caricatured and “quoted”… it’s one of the best-known “images” in the Russian “visual culture”.


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