16 August 2010

The Impulsive Brain

My mom sent me this NPR story last week about a study done to link impulsiveness to dopamine issues. They studied several individuals having various degrees of impulsivity. And the result? The study showed that people who were more impulsive have broken dopamine switches.

That's why I can't help myself in Costco?! I think my dopamine switches breakdown when I smell food. I've just had to avoid going into Costco all together.

The NPR report says, "What happens next may come down to how impulsive you are. Impulsiveness is about more than shopping — impulsive people are vulnerable to substance abuse and some forms of mental illness."

The solution?
"'I think that there is a circuitry of self-control that's fundamental to many, many aspects of living,' agrees Edythe London, a psychiatrist at UCLA. London says that understanding the dopamine thermostat and others may eventually lead to treatments for addiction and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Those treatments might be drugs, or they might be new therapies that reinforce the thermostats and improve their performance."

An interesting read from a business or health perspective, if you get a chance.