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Scientists Boost the "Will To Persevere" With Current To the Brain 127

Posted by samzenpus
from the volts-or-forget-about-it dept.
schliz writes "Stanford scientists say they could help boost people's motivation to overcome difficulties by electrically stimulating the anterior midcingulate cortex in the brain. The study involved two patients, who described the 'will to persevere' beautifully. One said it was like driving into a storm front and knowing that he had to get through. From the article: 'Stanford University neuroscientists passed a small current through an area in the part of the brain that deals with error detection, anticipation of tasks, attention, motivation, and emotional responses. Both patients involved in the study had epilepsy, and already had electrodes implanted in their brains to help doctors learn about the source of their seizures."
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Scientists Boost the "Will To Persevere" With Current To the Brain

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  • by ebno-10db (1459097) on Thursday December 05, 2013 @08:49PM (#45614679)

    If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Then quit. No use being a damn fool about it.

    -- W.C. Fields

    With that in mind, is it a good idea to get people to continue to engage in futile endeavors? Who says quitting is always a bad thing.

    P.S. I started to write this as a joke, but now I'm not so sure. For all we glorify perseverance, sometimes it's idiotic.

  • Impossible! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Thursday December 05, 2013 @09:07PM (#45614769) Journal
    Everyone knows that 'willpower' is an intangible substance that some people possess more of, because they are better, and other people lack, because they are bad. I don't want to hear any more of this materialist nonsense. The rest of the universe may be causal; but human behavior isn't, because something!
  • by muhula (621678) on Thursday December 05, 2013 @09:36PM (#45614969)
    Except that will to persevere and pleasure are two distinctly different things.
  • by Kjella (173770) on Thursday December 05, 2013 @11:27PM (#45615611) Homepage

    With that in mind, is it a good idea to get people to continue to engage in futile endeavors? Who says quitting is always a bad thing.

    I like this one [despair.com]:

    Quitters never win, winners never quit, but those who never win and never quit are idiots.

    Persistence is good if it gets you anywhere, but if you're just obsessing over things you can't do, can't change, can't make work, can't achieve then give up and move on. Particularly I hate people who can't ever accept that the team, the project or someone in authority has made a decision they disagree with and continue to reopen the issue, dredge up old discussions and undermine the decision. I've had one extreme case where a person on the project team was trash talking it to the rest of the company during the official presentation, essentially saying this is what we're delivering and it's crap and not what I wanted or how I'd design it.

    My impression is that overall people have too much persistence and can't stop flogging the dead horse, if things are that bad or that hopeless stop trying to make it work and get out. If your boss is a total ass hat, find another job don't try to fix it. If your girlfriend is a total fruitcake don't try to reason with crazy. If nobody wants to buy what you're selling, you're probably wrong about what they wanted in the first place. Move on, try again. Except the exceptions of course, where banging your head on the same brick wall many enough times will lead to it cracking. But I wouldn't waste my head on that.

Entropy requires no maintenance. -- Markoff Chaney

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