Neuroscientist says people are addicted to stressful behaviours

Computers are ‘electronic cocaine’

A prominent neuroscientist has said that people get addicted to computers because they are like electronic cocaine.

In an interview with the Pacific Standard, Dr Peter Whybrow of the University of California noted that: “The computer is electronic cocaine for many people. Our brains are wired for finding immediate reward. With technology, novelty is the reward. You essentially become addicted to novelty.”

He makes the case in a forthcoming book, called ‘The Intuitive Mind: Common Sense for the Common Good’ which investigates why people engage in a stressful modern lifestyle.

Apparently, the modern requirements for constant workloads and continuous connectivity means that the brain is in a continued state of the ‘fight or flight’ reflex, causing people to be aggressive, hypervigilant and overreactive. In the long term this can in turn lead to anxiety, depression and sleep loss.

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