Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Addicted to learning?

Ok, so this is not strictly finance, it is very interesting and would probably explain my ADhD. LOL..

From Science Daily:
"The "click" of comprehension triggers a biochemical cascade that rewards the brain with a shot of natural opium-like substances, said Irving Biederman of the University of Southern California. He presents his theory in an invited article in the latest issue of American Scientist.

"While you're trying to understand a difficult theorem, it's not fun," said Biederman, professor of neuroscience in the USC College of Letters, Arts and Sciences

"But once you get it, you just feel fabulous."

The brain's craving for a fix motivates humans to maximize the rate at which they absorb knowledge, he said.

"I think we're exquisitely tuned to this as if we're junkies, second by second."

Now if I can just get my students addicted to the finance version of this "drug".

However, Bierderman also found a reason for jumping from one thing to another (MY PROBLEM!):

"Biederman also found that repeated viewing of an attractive image lessened both the rating of pleasure and the activity in the opioid-rich areas. In his article, he explains this familiar experience with a neural-network model termed "competitive learning."

In competitive learning (also known as "Neural Darwinism"), the first presentation of an image activates many neurons, some strongly and a greater number only repetition of the image, the connections to the strongly activated neurons grow in strength. But the strongly activated neurons inhibit their weakly activated neighbors, causing a net reduction in activity. This reduction in activity, Biederman's research shows, parallels the decline in the pleasure felt during repeated viewing."

I was kicking myself last night for "wasting" so much time reading/ristening and even blogging about things that are not finance related (for example uploading pictures, writing on nutrition for the Park and Shop Blog, hurricane recovery efforts, and then even more random stuff on my Yahoo 360 blog). While I guess it is better than sitting around watching TV (or drinking and doing drugs etc), it is not helping finish any of the three papers I had told myself I would have done by July 4 (1 basically done, 1 maybe 1/2, 1 not close)!

But at least I have an excuse now ;)

1 comment:

Hobbledehoy said...

What is said in this article is 100% correct, word for word. I actually found this blog by googling "addicted to learning". I was just recently diagnosed with ADHD. Actually I was self-diagnosed a while back. I've just managed to convince my pdoc.

The happiest time of my life was strangely college. The positive unbiased energy of the campus. The challenge of passing classes. The reward of good grades. I managed to get a degree in Accounting (Finance's older and wiser brother :) ). And I did all of that without medication.

I currently take Adderall, Zoloft, and Wellbutrin.

Do you have any life lessons (epiphanies) you would like to share? Anything would be appreciated. I'll come back to this page once in awhile for your reply.