The powerful and mysterious brain circuitry that makes us love Google, Twitter, and texting. - By Emily Yoffe - Slate Magazine
How the brain hard-wires us to love Google, Twitter, and texting. And why that's dangerous.
brain research and new social media
by Emily Yoffe. Summary of research by Jaak Panskeep and Kent Berridge into our desire for additional information. Speculates this desire is akin to addiction systems. "How the brain hard-wires us to love Google, Twitter, and texting. And why that's dangerous."
"The dopamine system does not have satiety built into it," Berridge explains. "And under certain conditions it can lead us to irrational wants, excessive wants we'd be better off without." So we find ourselves letting one Google search lead to another, while often feeling the information is not vital and knowing we should stop. "As long as you sit there, the consumption renews the appetite," he explains. Actually all our electronic communication devices—e-mail, Facebook feeds, texts, Twitter—are feeding the same drive as our searches. Since we're restless, easily bored creatures, our gadgets give us in abundance qualities the seeking/wanting system finds particularly exciting. Novelty is one. Panksepp says the dopamine system is activated by finding something unexpected or by the anticipation of something new. If the rewards come unpredictably—as e-mail, texts, updates do—we get even more carried away. No wonder we call it a "CrackBerry."