Creative learning gets you high
When you are involved in a pleasurable social learning experience, your brain is stimulated by a series of natural chemicals – dopamine, adrenalin and endorphins – often associated with the high experienced using drugs such as cocaine. Human beings have an organic electro-chemical reward system geared to learning, evolved from the days when the smarter guys and gals were the ones who ended up passing down their genes (and way before unpleasurable experiences such as schools, where the reward for learning is usually not even remotely related to a ‘high’). And it’s a high that keeps on keeping on, without a hangover, as learning progresses and the rewards of learning being apparent. We experience the ‘firing of dopaminergic neurons’ as a pleasure/reward, which increases the motivation for more of the same. Learn > reward > high > more learning > more reward > higher.