You think I made this up? I can't find the article online yet, but here's the abstract.
Velakoulis D, Fornito A, Walterfang M, Malhi G, Yucel M, Pantelis C. (2007). A tale of two cities: a neuroimaging investigation of Melbourne-Sydney rivalry comparing cortical thickness in healthy adults. Australas Psychiatry 15(1):67-71.[NOTE: the authors are from the Melbourne Neuropsychiatry Centre, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Vic, Australia.]
OBJECTIVE: We sought to identify neurobiological correlates of Melbourne-Sydney rivalry through neuroimaging measures of a key brain region involved in cognitive and emotional regulation. METHOD: Twenty subjects from each city were recruited from two large neuroimaging databases, and were scanned on a GE Signa 1.5 T magnetic resonance imaging scanner. Cortical thickness of the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) was measured using a tessellated mesh method, after image segmentation. These measures were compared with key sporting, financial and academic variables. RESULTS: Residents of Melbourne had a significantly thicker ACC (p less than 0.0001) than Sydney residents, and this difference remained significant when age and intracranial volume were controlled for (p = 0.001). This difference mirrored that in variables measuring wealth, sporting and academic success. CONCLUSIONS: The thinner ACC seen in Sydney-siders may reflect the effects of increased stress due to elevated property prices, relative lack of sporting success and other variables. An alternative explanation is that a thinner ACC is the result of increasing cortical refinement and efficiency, and a marker of a more mature city. However, if these findings are a result of latitudinal effects, this may have significant implications for residents of more northern regions of the Australian continent.
Perhaps the current issue of Australasian Psychiatry is similar to the (semi-)joke issue published by the British Medical Journal around Christmas...
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