I knew research was a drug

Here is some research from USC: ‘Thirst for knowledge’ may be opium craving

The brain’s reward for getting a concept is a shot of natural opiates

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.


via: digg

Perhaps having a scotch after working late on research is not such a good idea. Kind of an intellectual speedball (wikipedia link).


2 responses to “I knew research was a drug

  1. Since a speedball is taking things all at once, the academic equivalent would be having scotch at the same time you’re doing the research. Worth a try…

  2. Greg,

    good point. But my problem is that I cannot stop trying to figure stuff out after working late when I should be stopped; I sit drinking my scotch with the work still bubbling through my brain šŸ™‚

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