Friday, June 12, 2009

Interesting Tidbit

I've been reading How We Decide by Jonah Lehrer. It's a really interesting book that's (so far, anyway) about the physiology behind making choices and how it is that certain people can seemingly make choices on the fly based on their "gut" and get it right.

A few days ago I came across the following paragraph:

People with a genetic mutation that reduces the number of dopamine receptors in the ACC suffer from a similar problem; just like the monkeys, they are less likely to learn from negative reinforcement. This seemingly minor deficit has powerful consequences. For example, studies have found that people carrying this mutation are significantly more likely to become addicted to drugs and alcohol. Because they have difficulty learning from their mistakes, they make the same mistakes over and over. They can't adjust their behavior even when it proves self-destructive.

I know some people that I would LOVE to have tested for that mutation.

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