I’ve always been keen on newness. Now I learn that what I thought was an enthusiasm might in fact be an addiction.
JH Austin on endogenous endorphins:
Novelty releases beta-endorphin into the brain. If humans respond anything like rats, beta-endorphin would begin to increase after only two minutes in the new environment. This fascinating link between novelty and brain endorphin has very practical applications. One reason is that beta-endorphin appears to “mark” with some sense of salience a current task that might be put to use in the future. No old, mundane, overlearned task will do. To increase beta-endorphin will take something special the challenge of a new training situation or a modification in the existing one. Another practical point is that when some new situation does present itself, it will usually require the brain to invent a new kind of response. in this respect, the release of endorphin and ACTH together may, in a sense, be a way to clear the decks, a means of getting rid of the old behavior in preparation for the new.
p.219 Austin, J.H. (1999) Zen and the Brain, MIT Press