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How our brains become addicted to risk

Ben Thomas, a journalist and independent researcher, studies consciousness and the brain. In an article about brains and risk, he wrote:

“See, deep within your brain lies a structure known as the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), which is strongly implicated in weighing fact and emotion, and in viewing your desires through a lens of potential risks. A malfunctioning ACC may play a major part in disorders like schizophrenia, which can involve poor impulse control, whereas an overly active ACC may contribute to excessively harsh self-criticism.

The ACC’s judgments don’t stand alone, though; they can be influenced by a region known as the nucleus accumbens (NAcc), which “lights up” with activity when you anticipate a positive outcome.”

One of the activities that can skew perception of risks and rewards is falling in love.

Rolling dice and flashing lights: How your brain gets addicted to risk, on HuffingtonPost.com.

Story suggested by LoveFraud reader.

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Posted in: Scientific research

2 Comments on "How our brains become addicted to risk"

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  1. Truthspeak says:

    Donna, I appreciate this article and it resonates very strongly with me, personally. I would say that I once had a very “overly active ACC” which not only contributed to “harsh self-criticism” but a deep, deep shame-core.

    I truly and sincerely believe that, through hard work and an understanding of core-issues, how they were developed, WHY they developed the way that they did, and management techniques, people have the capacity to re-wire their thinking processes.

    Separating fact from emotion is no easy task but it can be done with consistent and diligent practice. That’s NOT to say that I don’t still run on hypersensitivity, but I’m working on ramping that down, every day. Having lived a lifetime of hypersensitivity, it’s so ingrained that it’s one HECK of a challenge to alter this.

    Again, thank you for this article and I’m watching my felines stake out some rodent that found its way into the house, overnight. OMG……strictly an aside and WAY off-topic, but I don’t want to be in the line of fire when this thing (whatever it is!) zips out from under the cabinet!

    Brightest blessings

  2. Ox Drover says:

    This is a great article, Donna, and goes along with several books I have read about our brains’ workings. I wish I could come back in 100 years, 200 years and see just what medical science has learned about the anatomy and chemistry of our brains. While when I was first in school we were taught the brain was “formed” and didn’t regenerate from an injury. Now we know that there is what is called the “plastic” quality of the brain to change and adapt to the environment and to injuries, both physically and chemically.

    Right now I am reading about how meditation (of several kinds) changes both the emotions produced by our brains, but the brains themselves. (Book Review upcoming!)

    The POWER that this knowledge gives us to TAKE CONTROL over our own minds, emotions, brains and bodies is EXCITING! It’s never too late to begin and never too early to start.

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