Madison Avenue and Your Brain

Madison Avenue and Your Brain,
Matthew Blakeslee,
Why does advertising work so well? It’s all in the brain. As
Matthew Blakeslee reports in, the
burgeoning field of neuroscience may help explain why our tummies
grumble when we see cheeseburgers on TV. Those answers lie within
the brain’s limbic system, the area that houses the dorsal striatum
(an addiction center that makes us crave food) and nucleus
accumbens (a pleasure center that, when triggered, tells our
memories to relate those good feelings with the stimulus that
caused them). Blakeslee notes that, while these systems were once
vital in making humans crave food whenever it was available, the
sheer availability of food today makes these neuro-systems obsolete
and, often, unhealthy. According to neuroscientist Nora Volkow,
‘This is a reason why [fast food] advertisements are so compelling,
and why we are having an epidemic of obesity in this country.’

–Chuck Terhark
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