Received: by alpheratz.cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk id NAA23344 (8.6.9/5.3[ref firstname.lastname@example.org] for cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk from email@example.com); Tue, 21 Aug 2001 13:36:31 +0100 Message-ID: <3B82554E.BF04DEB@bioinf.man.ac.uk> Date: Tue, 21 Aug 2001 13:34:22 +0100 From: Chris Taylor <Christopher.Taylor@man.ac.uk> Organization: University of Manchester X-Mailer: Mozilla 4.77 [en] (Windows NT 5.0; U) X-Accept-Language: en To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Re: Spoiled Reward-Pathway Hypothesis References: <3B8055B5.8367.2C4117@localhost> <3B81CC5F.17306.7FA755@localhost> <3B823FC0.FA5C1329@bioinf.man.ac.uk> <email@example.com> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1 Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Precedence: bulk Reply-To: email@example.com
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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