Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Addicted to ideas - The Times
I am a sexy genius, you are witty, he is a smart-arse: science has discovered why we are addicted to trying to be clever — having bright ideas gives our brains a heroin-like fix.

A study in American Scientist argues that when we grasp a new concept it triggers a cascade of brain chemicals that rewards the brain with a shot of natural opium-like substances.

Put it down to Darwinism. “Human beings are designed to be ‘infovores’,” says Irving Biederman, a neuroscientist at the University of Southern California. He argues that we have evolved to get high whenever we have witty ideas because having something smart to say at parties gives us a big social head-start when attracting sexual mates...

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