sense of adventure

i was looking up what this means and came up with this. NPR’s Krulwich wonders.

or maybe it will come up. I’ll put it here in case.

I also learned that people do their sense of adventure thing on trips, which kind of surprised me — that people pay for it. but then again, I’ll have to think about that.

THen I came across victor milian, who has an adventure blog. he’s calls himself a modern day swordsman, sorcerer and adventure outfitter for the mind. He also battles depression, it seems (Being that my adventures are inner journeys, I can understand that)

Some other thoughts — on my weekly 80 -minute drive to Vero, I thought about analogies. That kept me going the whole trip. I’m going to try to come up with some (about something). That’s clear, right?

But back to risk taking: there’s an article i came across, a study by Bianca C. Wittmann, Nathaniel D. Daw, Ben Seymour, and Raymond J. Dolan. Striatal Activity Underlies Novelty-Based Choice in Humans. Neuron, Vol 58, 967-973, 26 June 2008 [link]

What they did was give volunteers a chance to pick cards with images that each had a unique reward attached to it. Mixed in were unfamiliar images. These volunteers were hooked up to fMRI scanners, and when they picked the unfamiliar card, an area of the brain, the ventral striatum, lit up.

These scientists have identified an area of the brain that encourages us to be adventurous. ok, now for an anology. Wittmann said that seeking unfamiliar experiences is a fundamental behavioral tendency.

“It makes sense to try new options as they may prove advantageous in the long run. For example, a monkey who chooses to deviate from its diet of bananas, even if this involves moving to an unfamiliar part of the forest and eating a new type of food, may find its diet enriched and more nutritious.”

The ventral striatum is an area that processes rewards, and when we do something beneficial, dopamine is released (Now that explains it).

There is a downside, of course.

“In humans, increased novelty-seeking may play a role in gambling and drug addiction, both of which are mediated by malfunctions in dopamine release,” said Professor Nathaniel Daw.

Looking for a definition, i also came across articles on being a lumber jack, hiking, opera,  fly fishing and skiing. Getting off your butt seems to be another definition. So there you have it.

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