Perceptual Pleasure and the Brain :
From hand-held DVD players to hundred-inch plasma screens, much of today's technology is driven by the human appetite for pleasure through visual and auditory stimulation. What creates this appetite? Neuropsychologists have found that visual input activates receptors in the parts of the brain associated with pleasure and reward, and that the brain associates new images with old while also responding strongly to new ones. In their article, Irving Biederman and Edward A. Vessel relate their exploration, through the use of functional MRI and other findings, of how human beings are "infovores" whose brains love to learn. It seems that children may enjoy the fast pace of Sesame Street because they get a "click of comprehension" from each brief scene. Biederman is the Harold W. Dornsife Professor of Neuroscience and director of the Image Understanding Laboratory at the University of Southern California. Vessel is a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Neural Science at New York University.