Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Last drinks: Brain's mechanism knows when to stop

Date:
March 26, 2014
Source:
University of Melbourne
Summary:
Our brains are hardwired to stop us drinking more water than is healthy, according to a new brain imaging study. The study found a 'stop mechanism' that determined brain signals telling the individual to stop drinking water when no longer thirsty, and the brain effects of drinking more water than required.

Overdrinking can reduce the salt concentration of the blood that can result in the swelling of the brain, a potentially fatal condition. Also known as polydipsia, it has been found in some patients with schizophrenia and in some marathon runners.
Credit: funtik24en / Fotolia

Our brains are hardwired to stop us drinking more water than is healthy, according to a new brain imaging study led by The University Of Melbourne and the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health.

Related Articles


The study found a 'stop mechanism' that determined brain signals telling the individual to stop drinking water when no longer thirsty, and the brain effects of drinking more water than required.

Researcher Professor Derek Denton from the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences at the University of Melbourne said the study provided insight into the human instincts that determine survival behavior and are also of medical importance.

"Different areas of the brain involved in emotional decision-making were activated when people drank water after becoming thirsty and when study participants followed instructions to keep drinking when no longer thirsty. The brain regions determining the signals to stop drinking have not previously been recognized in this context. It identifies an important component in regulation and this 'stop mechanism' may prevent complications from excessive water intake," he said.

Overdrinking can reduce the salt concentration of the blood that can result in the swelling of the brain, a potentially fatal condition. Also known as polydipsia, it has been found in some patients with schizophrenia and in some marathon runners.

Professor Denton believes the findings could be applied to other aspects of human gratification.

"This is a study of elements of gratification and how the body programs accurate behavior. In revealing aspects of gratification control, the data are relevant to study the gratification of other instincts, such as food intake, salt intake and sexual behavior," he said.

The study used magnetic resonance imaging to scan two physiological conditions of the brain, starting with scanning brain regions during the experience of thirst. Participants were then removed from the scanner and asked to drink to satiation or 'overdrink' and returned for further scanning.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Melbourne. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Melbourne. "Last drinks: Brain's mechanism knows when to stop." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140326102727.htm>.
University of Melbourne. (2014, March 26). Last drinks: Brain's mechanism knows when to stop. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140326102727.htm
University of Melbourne. "Last drinks: Brain's mechanism knows when to stop." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140326102727.htm (accessed November 24, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Monday, November 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers find that as people approach new decades in their lives they make bigger life decisions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
You Don't Have To Be Alcohol Dependent To Need Treatment

You Don't Have To Be Alcohol Dependent To Need Treatment

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found 9 out of 10 excessive drinkers in the country are not alcohol dependent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Your Complicated Job Might Keep Your Brain Young

Your Complicated Job Might Keep Your Brain Young

Newsy (Nov. 20, 2014) Researchers at the University of Edinburgh found the more complex your job is, the sharper your cognitive skills will likely be as you age. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins