Why Solving Puzzles Is Fun: Q&A with Consciousness Researcher Daniel Bor
The evolutionary link between acquiring good information and survival may have given rise to both consciousness and the pleasure of problem-solving
By MAIA SZALAVITZ | @maiasz |
Why do people voluntarily spend time struggling with problems like sudoku or crossword puzzles? According to neuroscientist Daniel Bor, a research fellow at the University of Sussex in England and author of the new book The Ravenous Brain: How the New Science of Consciousness Explains Our Insatiable Search for Meaning, it’s because we take great pleasure in pattern-finding. What’s more, that conclusion has big implications for understanding the brain, consciousness and even neurological disorders like autism. We spoke with Bor recently.
Why do you call the brain “ravenous”?
Human brains have an extreme form of consciousness: they’re ravenous for new innovative solutions to problems in the world, ravenous for optimizing our lives, for building pyramids of knowledge. I was trying to capture [the sense of hunger that] extreme forms of consciousness have about searching for knowledge and for understanding.
You posit that evolution selected for organisms that are…
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