所属:社会热点 作者:MELINDA BECK 来源:华尔街日报 阅读:9511 次 评论:0 条 [我要评论]  [+我要收藏]


The young girl's face twists in terror. The stalker's shadow advances, ax held high. Your heart is pounding along with the music as you squirm in your theater seat. The silhouetted ax starts to descend …


Is this your idea of a fun night at the movies?


Psychologists have long theorized about why some people revel in scary movies and have identified 'thrill-seeking personalities' who are drawn to roller coasters, gambling and extreme sports. Many also gravitate toward adrenaline-charged jobs as day traders, test pilots, brain surgeons and bomb defusers, some studies find.


Now, neuroscientists are finding distinct biological differences in the brains of people who love new sensations and those who shrink from them.


'Humans have a unique situation where we will seek out things that scare us. We've got to ask, what could make this exposure rewarding?' says David Zald, a professor of psychiatry and psychology at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn.

美国田纳西州范德比尔特大学(Vanderbilt University)精神病学及心理学教授萨尔德(David Zald)说,人类有一种特殊的心态,那就是寻求令自己害怕的东西。可是我们不禁会问,经历恐惧有什么好处?

One 2008 study by Dr. Zald and colleagues found key differences in how the brains of thrill-seekers and thrill-avoiders handle dopamine, the brain chemical of pleasure and reward. They had 34 volunteers answer a questionnaire assessing how much they liked novelty and then conducted brain scans. Those who avoided thrills had more autoreceptors for dopamine, which act like built-in brakes for the pleasure chemical. The thrill-seekers had few such receptors.


Evolutionary Roots


Dr. Zald speculates that this novelty-seeking tendency was important to evolution; humans who sought out new experiences might have been more likely to survive and pass on their genes.


And the tendency is often apparent in early childhood. Dr. Zald says he frequently hears from parents of thrill-seeking children asking his advice about how to satisfy them. (He recommends rock-climbing with close supervision.) 'Mostly, those parents are hanging on for dear life,' he says.


There may be genetic differences as well. In 2008, researchers at the University of Bonn in Germany found that people with a particular variation of a gene known as Compt, which affects a brain chemical linked to anxiety, are more easily disturbed by frightening images. Those with two copies of the gene variation found it particularly hard to keep a lid on their anxiety.

基因上的差异也可能会有一定的影响。2008年,德国波恩大学(University of Bonn)研究人员发现,拥有一种名为Compt的特殊基因变体的人更容易对恐怖画面感到不安。这种基因变体会影响与焦虑有关的脑化学物质。拥有两份这种基因变体的人尤其难以掩饰自己的焦虑。

2011-11-05 23:05 编辑:loveyystyle