Cultural objects modulate reward circuitry
Erk S, Spitzer M, Wunderlich AP, Galley L, Walter H.
University Clinic Ulm,
Leimgrubenweg 12, 89075 Ulm, Germany.
Neuroreport. 2002 Dec 20;13(18):2499-503
ABSTRACTUsing event-related fMRI we investigated the rewarding properties of cultural objects (cars) signaling wealth and social dominance. It has been shown recently that reward mechanisms are involved in the regulation of social relations like dominance and social rank. Based on evolutionary considerations we hypothesized that sports cars in contrast to other categories of cars, e.g. limousines and small cars, are strong social reinforcers and would modulate the dopaminergic reward circuitry. Twelve healthy male subjects were studied with fMRI while viewing photographs of different car classes followed by an attractivity rating. Behaviorally sports cars were rated significantly more attractive than limousines and small cars. Our fMRI results revealed significantly more activation in ventral striatum, orbitofrontal cortex, anterior cingulate and occipital regions for sports cars in contrast to other categories of cars. We could thus demonstrate that artificial cultural objects associated with wealth and social dominance elicit activation in reward-related brain areas.Pleasure
You've got to laugh
No More Headaches
The neurobiology of pleasure
Human wireheads: chronic implants
The Transcranial Magnetic Stimulator
Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation
Therapeutic brain stimulation for affective disorders
The Wired Society
The Hedonistic Imperative
When Is It Best To Take Crack Cocaine?