New information acts on the brain’s reward system in the same way as money or food. In a study published in the journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in Los Angeles scientists explained why people can’t stop checking their phones, even when they are not expecting any important messages. The study also lays the groundwork for unravelling the neuroscience behind how we consume information and perhaps even digital addiction.
Researcher Ming Hsu from the University of California, Berkeley in the United States said, during the study, the existence of a common neural code for information and money was demonstrated which opens the door to a number of exciting questions about how people consume, and sometimes over-consume information.
To understand more about the neuroscience of curiosity, the researchers scanned the brains of people while they played a gambling game. Each participant was presented with a series of lotteries and needed to decide how much they were willing to pay to find out more about the odds of winning.