Dopey for ideas

Dopaminergic Aesthetics, Jonah Lehrer

“The world is full of possibilities, and it is our dopaminergic feelings that help us choose between them…ne of the innovations of the human brain is that dopamine also evaluates abstract ideas…Evolution essentially bootstrapped our penchant for intellectual concepts to the same reward circuits that govern our animal appetites…The purpose of pleasure, then, is to make it easier for the pleasurable sensation – the delicious taste, the elegant idea, the desired object – to enter the crowded theater of consciousness, so that we’ll go out and get it…Aesthetics are really about attention…If attention is like a spotlight, then these drug makes the filament burn brighter. The end result is that we can’t look away.”

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