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Evidence of 'risk-taking' brain

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posted on Jan, 1 2009 @ 06:04 AM
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Evidence of 'risk-taking' brain


news.bbc.co.uk

Scientists say they have found physical evidence of brain differences which may drive "thrill-seekers" to act impulsively or dangerously.

A small study from Vanderbilt University in the US found the biggest "risk-takers" processed a brain "reward" chemical dopamine differently.

Scans spotted fewer "receptors" for the chemical on the cells which make it.

The Journal of Neuroscience study could help explain why some are vulnerable to drug abuse and other addictions.
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on Jan, 1 2009 @ 06:04 AM
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This article talks about how the brain processes dopamine. I think we all have come across thrill seekers. Although this article talks about how it could make some people more vulnerable to drug abuse then others, I can't help but wonder how it relates to the hardened thrill seekers. The common term I use is adrenalin junkie. Point being do people who like to jump out of perfectly good air planes, or ski off cliffs, also have this type of brain?

news.bbc.co.uk
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on Jan, 1 2009 @ 06:45 AM
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Are they trying to say that thrill seakers have something wrong with them by saying theat they are more lilkely to drug abuse because thats just stupidor that they are different or just trying to label them either way So What

I think i can consider myself a thrill seaker now and i dont want to take drugs all the time (altough i do believe that they should'nt be banned but thats another thread altogether) i just want to have fun and live my life nothing wrong with that also i am kind of sick how everyone is getting labeled all the time

[edit on 1-1-2009 by Anti - Government]



posted on Jan, 1 2009 @ 06:48 AM
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reply to post by RedGolem
 
in my personal and never to be humble opinion, nobody with a brain jumps out of a perfectly good airplane unless he has a sargent's boot up his arse.
I know quite a few adrenalin junkies, and used to be one myself. It's not the risk. It's the high that comes after the risk. There is a rush that comes that I don't believe any drug can compare too. But alas, age, injuries, and wisdom have caused me to seek quieter ways of taking risk. Now it's just red meat, butter, and other fats, washed down with quality bourbon.



posted on Jan, 1 2009 @ 07:13 AM
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Originally posted by Anti - Government
Are they trying to say that thrill seakers have something wrong with them by saying theat they are more lilkely to drug abuse because thats just stupidor that they are different or just trying to label them either way So What


Nope, it says they are potentially more vulnerable to drug abuse. Nothing about there being anything 'wrong' with them. Indeed, being a thrill-seeker probably has many adaptive qualities. In novel environments, thrill-seekers will be more likely to explore and gain benefits but, of course, also find punishments.

Take it as highlighting potential problems with such traits. Whether it is a problem depends on whether someone takes the route of addiction and other detrimental behaviours (risky sexual behaviours etc.)

You actually labelled yourself a thrill-seeker. The problem is that thrill-seekers get bored easily, and so likely seek out thrills and novelty for an enhanced dopamine hit. It appears this is due to low density of dopamine 'controlling' receptors, so they probably find it harder to get dopamine hits from everyday rewards (i.e., eating chocolate cake just ain't that rewarding). The problem is that abusing drugs can be a short-term short-cut to a good dopamine hit.

Here's the abstract for those interested;


Midbrain Dopamine Receptor Availability Is Inversely Associated with Novelty-Seeking Traits in Humans

David H. Zald,1,2 Ronald L. Cowan,2,3 Patrizia Riccardi,4 Ronald M. Baldwin,3 M. Sib Ansari,3 Rui Li,3 Evan S. Shelby,1 Clarence E. Smith,3 Maureen McHugo,1 and Robert M. Kessler3

Departments of 1Psychology, 2Psychiatry, and 3Radiological Sciences, Vanderbilt University Nashville, Tennessee 37240, and 4Department of Nuclear Medicine, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York 10461

Correspondence should be addressed to Dr. David H. Zald, Department of Psychology, PMB 407817, 2301 Vanderbilt Place, Nashville, TN 37240. Email: david.zald@vanderbilt.edu

Novelty-seeking personality traits are a major risk factor for the development of drug abuse and other unsafe behaviors. Rodent models of temperament indicate that high novelty responding is associated with decreased inhibitory autoreceptor control of midbrain dopamine neurons. It has been speculated that individual differences in dopamine functioning also underlie the personality trait of novelty seeking in humans. However, differences in the dopamine system of rodents and humans, as well as the methods for assessing novelty responding/seeking across species leave unclear to what extent the animal models inform our understanding of human personality. In the present study we examined the correlation between novelty-seeking traits in humans and D2-like (D2/D3) receptor availability in the substantia nigra/ventral tegmental area. Based on the rodent literature we predicted that novelty seeking would be characterized by lowered levels of D2-like (auto)receptor availability in the midbrain. Thirty-four healthy adults (18 men, 16 women) completed the Tridimensional Personality Questionnaire-Novelty-Seeking Scale and PET scanning with the D2/D3 ligand [18F]fallypride. Novelty-Seeking personality traits were inversely associated with D2-like receptor availability in the ventral midbrain, an effect that remained significant after controlling for age. We speculate that the lower midbrain (auto)receptor availability seen in high novelty seekers leads to accentuated dopaminergic responses to novelty and other conditions that induce dopamine release.


Interesting study. Cheers, RedGolem.


[edit on 1-1-2009 by melatonin]



posted on Jan, 1 2009 @ 07:28 AM
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Originally posted by kettlebellysmith

I know quite a few adrenalin junkies, and used to be one myself. It's not the risk. It's the high that comes after the risk.


Ive done my share of adrenalin seeking also. It was never anything to exstreem. But also got my self hurt every now and then. Looking back at things although I liked the high after the fact, I also liked the scents of accomplishment. This brain being different is just kind a whole new spin on it all.



posted on Jan, 1 2009 @ 07:33 AM
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Originally posted by Anti - Government
Are they trying to say that thrill seakers have something wrong with them by saying theat they are more lilkely to drug abuse because thats just stupidor that they are different or just trying to label them either way So What


It does sound like they are saying thrill seekers have something wrong with them. I won't phrase it like that though. It might be more correct to say trill seekers have a brain that is just different from those who are not thrill seekers. If it matters I think there are plenty of ways for those who like the rush to find ways to enjoy the rush with out turning to drugs or illegal activity.



posted on Jan, 1 2009 @ 05:29 PM
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Well this does make sense.

Without risk takers, the human race would not have amounted to anything but then with the same token without a number of reserved people with brains that say " no don't do that thats crazy " again we the human race would have gone nowhere.

It allows us to reach out and explore new things but keeps a number of people back to allow the race to continue.

Maybe thats the beauty of the human genetic make up.
Thanks to god / evolution etc.



posted on Jan, 1 2009 @ 05:39 PM
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reply to post by colec156
 


Colec
I eas kind of thinking the same thing. I was wondering how evolution came about to work this into its grand scheam. So that kind of asks the question, is this risk taking abnormality something that evolution was in the process of weeding out, or something that is pushing its way in?



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