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David Linden Discusses the Neuroscience Behind a Tweet

By: Rebecca Byers - Published: Apr 12, 2012 • References: &
David Linden is a professor of neuroscience at John Hopkins University, the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Neurophysiology and has authored several books on the brain and the "compass" of pleasure.

In this brief clip, David Linden discusses how humans are hardwired to feel pleasure from uncertainty and uses the example of gambling as such a source. In roulette, Linden presupposes that if a digital image of the brain was taken while the ball is spinning, he says it would likely show the beginnings of a pleasure buzz. While most people think you would get a pleasure buzz when you win, according to Linden the source of pleasure is actually the moment of uncertainty while the ball is spinning.

Linden compares this uncertainty-driven pleasure buzz to that of the addictive nature of digital media. When our phone buzzes in pocket, he says, we know we're about to receive information but we don't know what it will be, triggering the pleasure system in the brain. Stats for The Pleasure of Uncertainty Trending: Older & Average
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