A study of 48 college-aged women at Dartmouth University has revealed for the first time that brain scans can predict some future behaviors, like excessive eating or sexual activity, as far out as six months in advance.
Bill Kelley, a Dartmouth psychologist, revealed the study’s findings to LiveScience this week. He said that by studying the brain’s reward center as test subjects were shown images of food and sexual activity, researchers were able to predict which among them would engage in sexual activity or gain weight in the six months that followed.
“This study is nice in a sense in that it’s one of the first ones to actually tie your brain responses to more long-term measures of behavior,” he said, according to the report.
While the study is groundbreaking and seems to indicate a correlation between the brain’s reward center and a tendency toward future behaviors, the study was careful to note that it is not a tell-all. Personal responsibility and self discipline vary from person to person, they added, and some may just be more capable than others in overriding their own behavioral tendencies.
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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