Is a rat pushing a lever for brain stimulation an addiction?

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Offline Peter Steadman

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Peter Steadman asked the Naked Scientists:
That experiment when the pleasure receptors in rats' brains were hard-wired to be stimulated when the rat pushed a button: the rat would push the button and completely neglect food and end up dead as a result.

Is that a form of addiction?

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 13/04/2014 11:46:59 by _system »


Offline dlorde

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It could be called a behavioural addiction; a recurring compulsion to do some activity despite seriously harmful consequences. It's not so different from certain drug addictions, except that it presumably lacks the severe physiological withdrawal effects of some drugs.