Saturday, March 5, 2011

Spring break, and broken spring, and a thoughtful spring

Public domain photo
Well, it's spring break for us here at Penn State and perhaps that's the total silly season, but this 'research' story tops all that we've seen, even through the last couple of HoorayForMe!! month in the major journals celebrating the human genome project's 10th genomiversary.  We mean, if this is the research train, we want off at the next station.  We need a break at least, a bathroom break.

Yes, folks, if you have a full bladder you'll make better decisions, says this paper, second in rigor and importance only to a few recent papers in nuclear physics.  Otherwise, your thought processes are simply pee-thetic.  In fact, the thought is master to the deed, these stream of consciousness researchers show:  you only have to think yellow to take incisive actions.  How, you ask?
Dr Mirjam Tuk, who led the study, said that the brain’s “control signals” were not task specific but result in an "unintentional increase" in control over other tasks.
"People are more able to control their impulses for short term pleasures and choose more often an option which is more beneficial in the long run,” she said.
Or, perhaps somebody in the editorial offices of the 'journal' and the media that reported this (and not on their funny pages)' have sprung a spring.

Now we are not denigrating this finding.  It's explanation is simply obvious.  You make better decisions with a full bladder not because of some stretch-receptor's gene-expression DRD4 dopamine receptor release's effects.  Though it might be (or this report might be) a reflection of  the dope receptor.  It's because when you're wriggling, squeezing, trying discretely to grab so you won't drip, you don't dilly-dally about decisions, but you cut right to the chase, so you can chase right to the loo.

We hope no springs will leak during the coming break week, and that all your bladders will be stretched to the limit when you have to take a stand (that is, if you're a guy).

1 comment:

Ken Weiss said...

It probably explains why the best students in my class seem to be very fidgety while taking there exams.

When they turn them in, they immediately rush out of the room. I always wondered why. Were they embarrassed that I'd see how poorly they did and think as poorly of them? Were they embarrassed at how easy the exam was and didn't want me to feel insulted? Did they think I'd caught them cheating?

Now I know!