Know Thyself, PET Scan Edition

I have never felt so not-depressed.

Being very Viennese in temperament – and by way of explanation, let’s just say there’s a reason this was the city where Freud found lots of issues to theorize on – a rather gloomy outlook comes natural.

I don’t want it to completely hold me back, though; I want to learn more (including about myself) and grow.

So, when Vienna Medical University was looking for test subjects for a study into brain functioning under direct current stimulation, I figured I’d out-guinea pig the human guinea pig Tim Ferriss himself.

After all, it offered a chance to get some very different insight into myself (and contribute to the advancement of medicine, to boot).

It’s time for more self-experimentation and action, anyways.

In I went… and it was mainly boring.

When a PET scan peers at your brain’s glucose consumption to see which parts are more active, you don’t really have to do anything much.

In fact, you must not do anything but lie there, without moving.

Just think about your life and plans and the itchy nose you really can’t scratch now and hope doesn’t make you have to sneeze.

Of course, I can’t tell you what the results of the study were, those will come later – but there’s a good chance that the college students who are trying to zap their brains to altered states by attaching batteries to their scalps are only one thing:

Nothing but proof that the intelligence necessary to get into college doesn’t necessarily translate into the intelligence needed to recognize things that won’t have an effect, and to just *do the work* of learning instead.

All the process did have a desired effect on me, though. And the side-effect mentioned at the beginning:

Having blood drawn several times and venous accesses laid left and right, I went from having a tendency to collapse after getting blood drawn to not being bothered half as much by it.

(Admittedly, it helped that a cute blonde medical student did most of that work ;) )

And, since the study is all about brain stimulation and its effects on depressive vs. non-depressive patients, we had to go through extremely detailed questionnaires on psychological health.

Going in, I would have said that I’d been feeling pretty down, if not depressed.

After the questions to be answered there, I feel farther from a depression than I ever have. Almost perky.

You should feel afraid.

So, go and hit Like, and tell me how far you would go for insight.

Don’t make me unhappy :-p

2 Comments

  1. James Yap

    Well, you did come out happier than when going in, right? Did you know yourself a bit better now? :)

    1. Well, at least they didn’t find anything out of the ordinary. And being ordinary is good news when it comes to brain scans, I think. Not that I think I needed a PET scan to know that, but, well… ;)

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