Brain, Cognition & Development Lab
Neuroscience Begins to Shine Light on the Neural Basis of Sensation-Seeking.
Why are some people drawn to intense, even fear-inducing thrills while others shun the mere thought? How is it that the same horror movie can be entertainment to one person and tension-filled torture to another? Is something different going on in the brains of these people?
Although the term “risky behavior” may elicit images of skydivers or rogue stock traders, we all weigh certain risks and rewards before initiating a plan of action. And all things being equal, we’re usually willing to risk some sort of consequence if the potential payoff is great enough.
The past several decades of research into human brains have included deep looks at how people deal with risk. Scientists say they have discovered neural pathways, maps of the mind, that seem to correlate with the kinds of people who deal well with, more particularly, financial risk.