Learning New Things Almost As Good As Sex?

A study that doled out water – and also information about the water – to monkeys and studied their responses found that learning can release dopamine, a feel-good neurotransmitter. The act of seeking out new knowledge thus appears to be programmed into primate brains, stimulating the same pleasure-centers as sex can. If experiences of learning and sex might be cognitively linked, one can only wonder what special joys learning about sex yields! This research complements work by Dr. Arthur Aron and his team that has found that couples who spend time doing new/exciting things together, rather than the same-old stuff, on date night, tend to be more in love and more satisfied with their relationships.

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About Jeana


Jeana Jorgensen, PhD recently completed her doctoral degree in folklore and gender studies at Indiana University. She studies fairy tales and other narratives, dance, body art, feminist theory, digital humanities, and gender identity.

  • Kate

    Thanks for posting this Jeana! I’ve found this to be quite true in my own life. Moving to another country with my partner was such an invigorating, sexy, experience. Even when it was stressful, seeing my partner thrive in a new environment was like relationship glue (he feels the same way).

  • http://twitter.com/foxyfolklorist Jeana Jorgensen

    Your experiences sound really interesting, Kate! I’ve never made a big life change with a partner before, but I imagine that any kind of new sensory input (solving challenges together, seeing new sights together) would lead to bonding.