- Not Exactly Rocket Science
Why information is its own reward – same neurons signal thirst for water, knowledge
To me, and I suspect many readers, the quest for information can be an intensely rewarding experience. Discovering a previously elusive fact or soaking up a finely crafted argument can be as pleasurable as eating a fine meal when hungry or dousing a thirst with drink. This isn’t just a fanciful analogy – a new study suggests that the same neurons that process the primitive physical rewards of food and water also signal the more abstract mental rewards of information.
Humans generally don’t like being held in suspense when a big prize is on the horizon. If we get wind of a raise or a new job, we like to get advance information about what’s in store. It turns out that