By Harvey Tobkes

I was more than embarrassed…it all happened back when I was in second grade. I remember it clearly, all six grades were in the school auditorium singing “America The Beautiful,” when a teacher tapped me on the shoulder and in a stern voice said to me, “Harvey, do not sing.” I guess I was a little out of tune that day.”


Embarrassed by Your Singing? It’s a Clue to Brain Health.
Scientists Observe Karaoke Singers to Get Better Understanding of Neurodegenerative Conditions

April 15, 2011 — Belting out a karaoke tune and then listening to the cringe-worthy performance afterward gave researchers new insights into how the brain processes embarrassment.

In the study, scientists from the University of California, San Francisco and University of California, Berkeley observed 79 people, 58 of whom had neurodegenerative conditions while the rest had healthy brains. In neurodegenerative conditions, brain cells are progressively damaged or destroyed.

Although not asked to sing karaoke in a club or bar, each volunteer crooned “My Girl” by the Temptations along with the voice-recording device and were videotaped while doing it. They were then asked to watch and listen to their vocal chops minus any accompanying music.
The goal was to embarrass the singers while researchers measured their facial expressions and reactions, including sweating, breathing, and heart rate.

“In healthy people, watching themselves sing elicits a considerable embarrassment reaction,” says Virginia Sturm, PhD, a postdoctoral neuropsychology fellow at the University of California, San Francisco Memory and Aging Center, in a news release.
But people who had neurological damage in a region of the brain known as the medial frontal cortex seemed less concerned. “The smaller the region, the less embarrassed the people were,” says Sturm.

The study was presented at the 2011 Meeting of the American Academy of Neurology in Hawaii.

Source: WebMD
By Cari Nierenberg POSTED BY WebMD Health News; Reviewed by Laura J. Martin, MD

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