Sunday, April 6, 2008
BOFFINS have made a discovery which has long been suspected - that sex and risking money are linked in the brain.
In a new brain-scan study, when young men were shown erotic pictures, they were more likely to make larger financial gambles than if they were shown a picture of something scary, such as a snake, or something neutral, such as a stapler, university researchers reported.
The arousing pictures lit up the same part of the brain that lights up when financial risks are taken.
“You have a need in an evolutionary sense for both money and women. They trigger the same brain area,” said Camelia Kuhnen, a Northwestern University finance professor who conducted the study with a Stanford University psychologist.
Their research appears in the current edition of journal NeuroReport.
Stanford psychologist Brian Knutson, a lead author of the study, says it is all about the power of emotion and arousal and financial decisions.
“It didn’t matter if the sexy woman didn’t tell you anything about the odds of winning a roulette game,” Knutson said.
“What really matters is that the sexy woman is having an emotional impact. That bleeds over into your financial decisions.”
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