Battlepanda: Jonesing for knowledge


Always trying to figure things out with the minimum of bullshit and the maximum of belligerence.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Jonesing for knowledge

Via Lis Riba, we see that those clever, clever scientists found that the brain releases a chemical reward whenever one figures something out:
Neuroscientists have proposed a simple explanation for the pleasure of grasping a new concept: The brain is getting its fix. The "click" of comprehension triggers a biochemical cascade that rewards the brain with a shot of natural opium-like substances, said Irving Biederman of the University of Southern California. He presents his theory in an invited article in the latest issue of American Scientist.

"While you're trying to understand a difficult theorem, it's not fun," said Biederman, professor of neuroscience in the USC College of Letters, Arts and Sciences.

"But once you get it, you just feel fabulous."

The brain's craving for a fix motivates humans to maximize the rate at which they absorb knowledge, he said.

"I think we're exquisitely tuned to this as if we're junkies, second by second."

So this is why I click from blog to blog at three in the morning instead of going to bed...