Sex, Drugs, and Vocabulary

Today our terrific ternion discuss new findings that show learning new vocabulary stimulates the same reward centers as sex, drugs, and gambling.  They explore how evolution may have created advantages for people who learned more words, and then they go about learning new words themselves.  Joe experiments empirically by finally learning what the word “empirical” means, Raj admits he didn’t do well in spelling bees nor can he fix a Rubik’s cube, and Jono may or may not have have gone through a break up over the word “esoteric.”

The Paper: “The Role of Reward in Word Learning and Its Implications for Language Acquisition” (Ripolles et al., Current Biology 2014)

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