Study: Some Brains Are Wired for Change

01/01/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011
  • Amelia TomasLiveScience StaffLiveScience.Com Yahoo! News

If you're among those who think it's time for change, your attitude may be strongly influenced by how your brain is wired.

People who welcome new experiences have stronger connections between their memory and reward brain centers than people who tend to avoid anything new, research now shows.

Specifically, people who actively seek lifestyle changes may have a more developed connection between two specific brain areas: the hippocampus, a site for storing and retrieving new and old memories, and the ventral striatum, a reward system which is responsible for those carpe diem moments, said researcher Dr. Bernd Weber of the Life & Brain Center at the University of Bonn in Germany. Turns out, if the hippocampus identifies an experience as new, it then relays signals to the striatum to release neurotransmitters which lead to positive feelings.

"The strength of the connection is positively correlated to novelty seek[ers] ... but this does not imply that having weaker connections is a 'bad' thing," Weber told LiveScience.

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