Posts Tagged ‘turkey’

Something to contemplate in the kitchen today

November 22, 2007

Consider the following advice for cooking the perfect Thanksgiving turkey:

The final temperature of the bird, after “resting” for 15 to 20 minutes, should be at least but not much more than 165 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature will continue to rise 5 to 10 degrees after the turkey is removed from the oven. [theperfectturkey.com]

Does this mean that turkeys violate Newton’s Law of Heating and Cooling?

Tryptophan and Game Theory

November 21, 2007

l-tryptophan-3d-sticks.pngYou may have heard the fact that turkey contains tryptophan, an amino acid that the body uses in the production of serotonin. You may also have heard that it’s the tryptophan that causes post-Thanksgiving drowsiness.

This direct link is questionable (see, for example, Live Science). However, there’s a new connection afoot: tryptophan has been shown to affect trust and cooperation. And the study measuring that effect used Game Theory!

According to ABC News earlier today, neuroeconomists [did you even know there was such a job title?] used the Prisoner’s Dilemma to measure cooperation. Volunteers who drank a substance reducing their tryptophan levels were significantly less likely to cooperate than those with normal tryptophan levels, and they were also more suspicious of other players. Does this mean that eating turkey will make you more cooperative? Probably not (the levels are likely too low to make any difference), but we’re still happy to have an Actual Math Post related to Thanksgiving Day.