advertisement
20 February 2009

Some wired for thrills

The thrill-seeking behaviour that makes people seek out intense, extreme activities might be based in an area of the brain that has been linked to addictive behaviours.

0

The thrill-seeking behaviour that attracts people to skydiving, mountain-climbing or other intense activities might be based in an area of the brain that has been linked to addictive behaviours.

University of Kentucky and Purdue University researchers studied volunteers who were grouped as either "high-sensation seekers" or "low-sensation seekers" based on their responses to personality surveys and questionnaires on risk-taking.

Then, functional MRI was used to scan the participants' brains while they looked at photographs ranging from mundane images, such as cows and food, to emotional and arousing images, such as erotic scenes and violent pictures.

What the study showed
When high-sensation seekers viewed the emotional or arousing images, their brains showed increased activity in the region called the insula. Previous studies have found this area is active during addictive behaviours, such as craving cigarettes. When the low-sensation seekers saw the emotional or arousing images, activity increased in their brains' frontal cortex, which controls emotions.

The findings, published in Psychological Science, could indicate the way by which sensation-seeking can result in negative behaviours, such as substance abuse and antisocial conduct, the researchers said.

"Individuals high in sensation-seeking not only are strongly activated by exciting, thrilling and potentially dangerous activities, but also may be less likely than other people to inhibit or appropriately regulate that activation," the researchers concluded. – (HealthDay News, February 2009)

Read more:
Brain wired to conform?
Brains white matter tied to memorytre

 
NEXT ON HEALTH24X

More:

BrainNews
advertisement

Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Live healthier

Contraceptives and you »

Scientists create new contraceptive from seaweed Poor long-term birth control training leads to 'accidents'

7 birth control myths you should stop believing

Will the Pill make you gain weight? Can you fall pregnant while breastfeeding? We bust seven common myths about birth control.

Your digestive health »

Causes of digestive disorders 9 habits that could hurt your digestive system

Your tummy rumblings might help diagnose bowel disorder

With the assistance of an 'acoustic belt', doctors can now determine the cause of your tummy troubles.