A Very Chicago Brain Buddies Thanksgiving


Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving! we’re gonna
talk about the neurobiology of Thanksgiving a new reality of gratitude
and a little bit about what that has to do with opioids yes this is a great
theme for today because tomorrow the first thing that’s gonna happen is my
dad is gonna make us go around on the table and every person is gonna have to
say what they’re grateful for the end of this little chat we can find out what
you Peggy Mason are grateful for what are you grateful I will absolutely say
what is gratitude Erin but if it is a sense of well-being and pro-social
inclination attendant to having benefited from the activities of another
I feel fantastic when I get these gratuitous acts of kindness towards me
it doesn’t even have to be a quote unquote of kindness it can be I write a
letter to a colleague and they answer with a really interesting letter back
that makes me feel very good and connected and it comes in the realm I
feel thankful for that I feel grateful for that how would you describe that
thing that you are feeling I would describe it as a very positive almost
euphoric feeling what makes me grateful is unexpected kindnesses what any dealer
called unmerited grace absolutely and then all of a sudden I’m happier my
state is more positive because of somebody else’s actions what about new
opioids new upgrades are really fun I used to be in pain research ok the first
thing that I did as a scientist well once I got to graduate school anyway
after a brief foray into the retina the first thing that I did was to study what
we call nociceptive modulation which is in more popular terms pain modulation
why does sometimes you feel a vaccination shot as painful and
sometimes you feel oh I don’t care about that nothing why are we experiencing
different things as more painful or less painful at different times that’s an and
one the reasons is because we get opioids so
morphine is the best analgesic we have the best drug that we can use to kill
pain once we realize that there were endogenous opioids in the body people
are very interested to say well if we give people a blockers of endogenous
opioids are they all of a sudden gonna feel a lot of pain so our is this system
ongoing is this system always operating so that we’re releasing these opioids to
dull down the pain of living and the answer was no you didn’t see it in just
you and me getting the naloxone which is the antagonist at the opioid receptor
and then they gave it to two runners and runners didn’t report all of a sudden
that they felt a lot of pain even if their natural opioid receptors
weren’t agonized they still didn’t feel pain that shouldn’t be the case if
you’re natural these lockers are being blocked then you should feel more pain
even I can figure that out it was a total surprise that pain was not the
thing that happened that that was revealed by administering a opioid
receptor antagonist instead what happened was that people became less
euphoric what opioids do on you know right now you me is that they facilitate
something close to euphoria and when you get tagged inist you bring them down so
naloxone is really good at killing the runner’s high the runner’s high is
opioid you give them two locks on you bring it down and so that sense what I
what this with these really fun experiments are showing is that if you
give a opioid receptor antagonist such as naloxone people no longer feel so
socially connected and they try to reach out for more opportunities to connect
and these are to connect are also opportunities to
feel grateful so in a monkey world they solicit grooming they’re trying to get
this interaction which you could turn grateful it’s it is going to engendered
gratitude by having one monkey room the other monkey which is you know a big
monkey thing to do it also involves every pathways that are involved just in
the acceptance of warm touch warm touch is another thing it’s been called
sensual touch it’s not entirely clear that the grooming is all about the these
fibers these CT fibers that only is all about them with speaking of grooming and
what it does for monkeys and humans as I understand it is that these Siddhi
fibers people who touched can have diminished levels of stress right
opioids general they impose the stress response right so the idea I think of
this new over your business was that we develop a sort of addiction to getting
good feedback from others and that that is involved with social cohesion and
that what looks like gratitude in capuchin monkeys at least can lead to
this opiate receptor response and and social cohesion we need that we can
become addicted to that don’t be late I think that’s basically the idea you
mentioned that your dad is gonna make you and your family stand around and say
those things that they are great for a lot of things that have happened over
the last year that we hope for for the coming year I’m certainly grateful for
Chicago brain buddy it’s not the fact that it’s just fun talking to you mu
opioid mediated social interactions I would never had thought about except for
the brain buddies this was a great topic I learned a lot and also thought new
things and it’s timely because for all of mine a saying about gratitude I do
feel as though I experience gratitude a lot I’m overwhelmed by the gratitude
that I feel to so many people who just do as you say
you know gratuitous unmerited nice acts towards me
my guess is also that you are grateful for your long-running marital status how
long have you and your spouse been together thirty two years I’m very
grateful for that as am i grateful for my mere 15 years
with the great love of my life Gerald is like and certainly grateful to
all of our folk the folks who’ve written to us who participated in our video
chats who commented on the YouTube who listened on various podcast platforms
all of our brain buddies around the world
lolani in Mexico Maggie in the UK Gordon in the UK yes absolutely
what other holiday is centered around an emotion it’s just thanks to all of you
for watching thank you for being in our community of Chicago brain buddies