The futility of looking for happiness — in the brain


DO IT SOMETIME What’s up? Can we use MRI scanners to see where happiness comes from in the brain? When fMRI was developed, back in the ’90s, there was a lot of what was called “Blobology”: putting people in scanners and hunting around for “Blobs” of activity in the brain. It’s viewing the brain like a car engine; the idea that each brain region must do one thing and one thing only.
What’s new? The question is not ‘Where is happiness in the brain?’ The better question is ‘How does the brain support happiness? What networks and processes are used to give rise to it?'” All parts of the brain are active, all the time. That’s how the brain works. The question is how much more active are these certain regions, and is it significantly more active than it usually is?.
So what? If we are hoping to use some high-tech wizardry to locate where happiness was coming from in the brain, we will be left reeling with the myriad problems of advanced science, and feeling distinctly unhappy about it.
SOURCE: Nautilus


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