[Ice cream headaches: one of life's great mysteries: solved]

"The results, which are being presented at the Experimental Biology 2012 conference, show that brain freeze is accompanied by a rapid dilation of the anterior cerebral artery, which floods the brain with blood and in turn causes pain. When the vessel constricts, patients report that the pain disappears. The researchers speculate that it's a form of self-defense for the brain:

"'The brain is one of the relatively important organs in the body, and it needs to be working all the time,... It's fairly sensitive to temperature, so vasodilation might be moving warm blood inside tissue to make sure the brain stays warm.'"
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