In “The Selfish Meme: Twitter, Dopamine, and the Evolutionary Advantages of Talking about Oneself,” in the October 2012 Atlantic, Frank Rose offers support for the suggestion I’ve made tacitly and openly that, when faced with a long lawsuit, blog.
Of course, he doesn’t mention lawsuits, not exactly. But he writes about studies in neuroscience that
…finally explained why we like to talk about ourselves so much: sharing our thoughts, it turns out, activates the brain’s reward system. As if to demonstrate the thesis, journalists and bloggers promptly seized the occasion to share their own thoughts about the study…
Which is what I’m doing here.
Using MRI bran scans, a couple of Harvard researchers used neuroimaging while
…asking [subjects] questions about their own opinions and personality traits, and about other people’s…the researchers found that the mesolimbic dopamine system — the seat of the brains’ reward mechanism — was more engaged by questions about the test subject’s own opinions and attitudes than by questions about the opinions and attitudes of other people … this was the first time [the system has] been shown to light up in response to, as the researches put it, “self-disclosure.”
Rose says, “The paper … points to an intriguing possibility: that this drive might give us humans an adaptive advantage.”
Researchers have previously shown that certain online activities — such as checking your e-mail or Twitter stream — stimulate the brain’s reward system… [my bolding]
…E-mail inboxes and slot machines simply tap into an attention-focusing mechanism that’s perfectly designed to make sure we don’t lose interest in Job No.1, which is to keep ourselves alive.
Or to keep ourselves involved productively in a long lawsuit that, during its length, will probably offer few immediate rewards.
So reward your litigating self. Neuroscience confirms the advantage: Blog.