It’s possibly the cruelest joke a brain can play: One minute you’re devouring a delicious ice cream sundae in delight, the next you’re holding a palm to your forehead in excruciating pain.
For the next 10 seconds, what you laughingly refer to as “brain freeze” (when other people get it) is no laughing matter.
Researchers induced such pain in 27 healthy volunteers in a new study presented at the Experimental Biology 2012 conference in San Diego this week.
Lead author Jorge Serrador and his team were trying to identify exactly what causes brain freeze. They hoped that by pinpointing the cause they would influence future research on migraines or post-traumatic headaches.
Read - Searching for the cause of 'brain freeze'
There's a direct connection between the speed with which you eat a frozen treat (ex. a Slurpee) and the temperature of your soft palate. When the soft palate gets cold, with no chance to warm back up to body temperature, it contracts and refers the pain of that contraction to the sinuses. Press your tongue to your cold palate or exhale out of your mouth a few times to warm it back up – no more freezer brain.
What I was lead to believe is that while you are drinking the cold item, it is actually cooling down your throat and being that the blood supply that is going to your brain runs right along the esophogus, it is actually cooling down the blood to your brain.
I thought I read somewhere it was due to a blood rush to the head to compensate for the sudden cold. I think it said it's actually the sensation of heat, not cold.
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