I'll Have the Ostrich Tongue Rare
by Jennifer Strailey
You know what you like — or do you? It's surprisingly not as simple as we once thought.
We love the unexpected (even those of us who say we don't), so much so that most of us get a bigger kick out of a surprise than we do from a good thing we know is coming.
So say researchers who used magnetic resonance imaging to study the brain's response to pleasure. Their study, the results of which appear in the April 15 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience, found that the pleasure centers of our brains — the nucleus accumbens — react more strongly to pleasures that are unexpected than they do to predictable pleasure.
While we should think about that the next time we plan a vacation, have sex or order dinner in a restaurant, scientists hope to use this research to help people with addictive disorders such as gamblers.
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