Re: Spoiled Reward-Pathway Hypothesis

From: Chris Taylor (
Date: Tue Aug 21 2001 - 13:34:22 BST

  • Next message: Wade T.Smith: "Re: Spoiled Reward-Pathway Hypothesis"

    Received: by id NAA23344 (8.6.9/5.3[ref] for from; Tue, 21 Aug 2001 13:36:31 +0100
    Message-ID: <>
    Date: Tue, 21 Aug 2001 13:34:22 +0100
    From: Chris Taylor <>
    Organization: University of Manchester
    X-Mailer: Mozilla 4.77 [en] (Windows NT 5.0; U)
    X-Accept-Language: en
    Subject: Re: Spoiled Reward-Pathway Hypothesis
    References: <3B8055B5.8367.2C4117@localhost> <3B81CC5F.17306.7FA755@localhost> <> <>
    Content-Type: text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1
    Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit
    Precedence: bulk

    Cheers for the links...

    > I acknowledge we humans have succeeded in creating an
    > environment (culture) which tolerates and supports (extensive)
    > addictive behavior. Through posing my hypothesis, I was
    > wondering whether or not it is precisely our culture which
    > has fed emergence of addictive behavior by evolving our
    > brain correspondingly. Maybe this is reflected in the
    > relative size of our reward-pathway being larger than that
    > of other animals (primates, in particular, make fine comparison
    > material). Or perhaps our brain releases more dopamine or
    > has higher functional dopamine levels than other animals.

    It is probably both; the environmental control would probably
    allow/produce a number of 'for the hell of it' users of these
    substances; but also there are individual/cultural factors
    (depression/anomie control, peer/media pressure and so on).

    With psychological addictions, I think this is probably more about the
    person then the culture (although obviously the culture will have
    produced the person); psychological addictions I think have something to
    do with the kinds of stereotyped behaviour we see in abused zoo animals
    - I saw a thing which asserted that these kinds of activity are the
    animal's attempt to raise its seratonin - all physical activity does
    this, but depressed/confined animals perhaps can only manage to do these
    simple repetetive behaviours; also (and in my opinion more importantly)
    the stereotypy adds to the benefits through a sort of meditation,
    driving out unwelcome thoughts/feelings. Shopaholics probably think
    about little else other than shopping while they shop, displacing other
    bad things, or just filling a void.

     Chris Taylor ( »people»chris

    This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
    Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
    For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Tue Aug 21 2001 - 13:40:59 BST